Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit Next 2022? All sessions are now available for viewing in our on-demand library. Click here to start watching.
The virtual items bundle that gamers can purchase for $10 will benefit the Call of Duty Endowment, a charity that places veterans into high-paying jobs. And this particular pack honors the sacrifice of Captain Florent “Flo” Groberg, who received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in 2015 for his bravery in Afghanistan.
The endowment, which received a $2 million donation from Call of Duty owner Activision Blizzard, has placed more than 69,000 vets in jobs since its inception and aims to place 100,000 veterans in meaningful jobs by 2024.
“These forces of unemployment and underemployment are hitting our whole society,” said Dan Goldenberg, Call of Duty Endowment executive director, in an interview with GamesBeat. “They can hit veterans harder, as they are more likely to be underemployed. Roughly one in three are underemployed.”
He added, “We’ve had our busiest Military Appreciation Month ever, which is great. But it’s COVID-19 related and we are seeing a 50% increase in the veterans looking for help finding jobs. This has taken on a lot more urgency.”
Medal of Honor recipient
Groberg and his lost friends are fitting people to remember as Memorial Day approaches.
Groberg, who was born in France and became a naturalized American citizen, served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. On August 8, 2012, his unit was on patrol when they were attacked by two suicide bombers. Groberg rushed a bomber and dragged him away from the other troops. The bomber detonated his bomb, sending Groberg flying 20 feet. The second bomber detonated his device prematurely.
Three U.S. soldiers and a U.S. Foreign Service officer were killed, and several others were wounded. But Groberg survived with a wound to his left calf and other injuries. His actions that day saved the lives of many in his unit.
Goldenberg recently met Groberg during an employment event in Seattle, and they talked about how Groberg was a Call of Duty fan. They set up a partnership.
As the teams hatched their idea for the charity pack, Groberg offered feedback on the look of the operator soldier on the cover of the pack. Groberg said he played Call of Duty in part to stay in touch with his veteran friends. He gave real really helpful feedback on the operator’s uniform, and the developers implemented some of his suggestions, Goldenberg said.
“We’ve been talking about this for so long, so it’s great to see it finally come to fruition,” Goldenberg said. “He is truly a hero, and he is an advocate for veteran employment. So we’re super excited to bring this content to fans.”
The two limited items are being released today for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as the Call of Duty: Warzone free-to-play battle royale mode. And Activision is also releasing the #CODEFearless T-Shirt that you can wear in real life. The shirt features the Endowment’s logo and topographic elements from the iconic Warzone map.
You can use the new operator skin in Warzone, Special Ops, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer matches. You can also get a new assault rifle blueprint, universal camo, and more personalization options to show your support in the game.
Goldenberg said that the need for the charity’s services has skyrocketed with tens of millions of people out of work during the pandemic.
Full details on the Fearless Pack
This pack was created in partnership with and inspired by the combat service of Groberg, and it includes a total of 10 in-game digital items.
That includes a venerated Mil-Sim Operator Skin. It also has a For the Cause Assault Rifle Blueprint, which kits the weapon so you can use it in the game for close-range to medium-range engagements. The five attachments included are the Scout Combat Optic, which provides a precision sight picture, the Corvus Custom Marksman Barrel, which increases damage range and recoil control, and a trio of attachments that boost aim down sight speed: the Forge Tac Sqs Stock, the Tac Laser, and the Stippled Grip Tape. The rifle is engraved with the date of the event of Groberg’s Medal of Honor actions to honor his fallen comrades. Goldenberg said Groberg asked for that engraving.
It also has a Steadfast Watch, an in-game watch with the Endowment’s logo on the nylon strap, a Stand Out Weapon Camo, Orange Boonie Weapon Charm, two Calling Cards, and two Emblems, which are animated personalized ways to show your support. You can also get spray, so you can spray paint enemies in the Gulag (where you go in Warzone if you are killed once) so they appear brighter when you fight them in a one-on-one match.
Activision Blizzard responded with an additional $2 million donation to the endowment. Previously, Activision launched a Call of Duty Defender Pack when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare debuted seven months ago. That pack sold well, and the proceeds were donated to the endowment.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.