Call of Duty: Black Ops launches – full premiere report, price-slashing, much more

Monday, 8 November 2010 17:45 GMT By Johnny Cullen

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Call of Duty: Black Ops launched at midnight last night in the UK. We went news nuclear.

London premiere

Activision’s held a massive premiere for Black Ops in London last night, as it did last year for Modern Warfare 2; this time at Battersea Power Station.

We attended and covered the whole thing live. Activision and Microsoft streamed video from the event, posted images and more – get full details on all that from this Facebook page.

Tinie Tempah was the headline act. The US launch had Metallica. We’re saying nothing.

Brenna reached the event early and was told there’s no “press list”. Recorded 5.44pm GMT:

Listen!

After MC George Lamb make some spectacular jokes about “Essex girls” and the first portion of the game was shown off, Brenna said the game looked superb on the big screen. Recorded 20.45pm GMT:

Listen!

The evening’s full itinerary read as follows:

  • 6.30pm GMT – Behind the Scenes and Build Up

Inside Xbox’s Dan Maher (MrPointyHead) and Graeme Boyd (AceyBongos) present an exclusive look behind the scenes at Battersea Power Station, home of the Call of Duty: Black Ops UK launch event!

  • 7.00pm GMT – Welcome to the Call of Duty: Black Ops UK Launch Event!

Live from the Black Carpet as celebs and VIPs arrive for the launch of the most anticipated game in 2010. Also see the Battersea Power Station like never before as it comes under siege from Black Ops commandos…

  • 7.30pm GMT – Multiplayer Tournament & More From the Black Carpet

Enter Battersea Power Station to watch the UK’s first Black Ops multiplayer challenge and hear from those lucky few to be involved. Featuring a DJ set from Freestyle Games, creators of DJ Hero!

  • 8.00pm GMT – Treyarch Presents…

The developers of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Treyarch, take the stage to give you an exclusive inside look into how the game was made.

  • 8.30pm GMT – EU multiplayer Tournament

UK, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands and Spain battle it out in a multiplayer challenge. Featuring interviews with UK challengers.

  • 8.45pm GMT – Treyarch and VIP Interviews

Treyarch answer your questions about the Black Ops. Submit your questions on the Black Ops Facebook page Wall or on Twitter by using the #CoDLaunch hashtag.

  • 9.00pm GMT – Reaction From an Exclusive Black Ops Feature Viewing

At 21:00 the doors open for the first ever viewing of an exclusive feature for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Hear the reaction from those who witness it first…

  • 9.30pm GMT – Celebrity tournament

Watch invited celebrities battle it out as Treyarch invite them to take the stage. Followed by a live DJ set from Freestyle Games.

  • 10.00pm GMT – Countdown to Launch

With only two hours until Black Ops is available we prepare ourselves for the most anticipated game launch of 2010.

  • 10.45pm GMT – Live from GAME Oxford Street, London

We cross live to Oxford Street as the queues begin to build for the midnight opening at GAME.

  • 10.50pm GMT – Guest Interviews

We go back to Battersea Power Station to gather more reaction and verdicts on the game from invited guests and celebrities.

  • 11.00pm GMT – What happened in the US?

Watch footage from the launch event held in the United States, which took place on 4 November.

  • 11.30pm GMT – Live from GAME Oxford Street, London

We hear more from the queues outside GAME in Oxford Street as the crowd gets ever closer to getting their hands on Black Ops.

  • 11.45pm GMT – Un-Boxing of the Prestige Edition

Our presenters unveil the delights found in the Prestige Edition of the game, plus a look inside the VIP goody bags and more music from Rampage.

  • 11.55pm GMT – Live From GAME Oxford Street, London

We cross one final time to Oxford Street and talk to the first people in the UK to get their copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops!

Nerds to wait in rain as UK copies hit early

British copies of the shooter hit early landing in gamers’s hands, but, as previously announced, GAME held midnight launches at its stores in all four corners of the UK. HMV also opened 70 of its stores for the launch of the Treyarch game (via EG).

HMV’s flagship store in Oxford Street hosted the retailer’s main launch, offering “a range of promotional launch activities,” such as the first 200 people in line getting a free strategy guide. The first 500 people got a t-shirt and midnight launch goody bag.

We’ve got ours halfway through yesterday. Proof:

Despite the general hype, though, some are predicting the game won’t come close to Modern Warfare 2′s huge success last year.

Cowan & Company’s Doug Creutz has pointed at Activision guidance as an indicator that the game will come well short of its predecessor.

“This includes an assumption that the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops comps negatively against last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, despite the fact that on several pre-release metrics cited by management Black Ops is tracking ahead of Modern Warfare 2,” Creutz told investors, as reported by GI.

“We think management’s guidance implies Black Ops units down roughly 20 per cent versus Modern Warfare 2,” said Creutz.

Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter has predicted the game will sell around 13 million units this year.

“More of the same”

BBC tech reporter Dan Emery, speaking on Breakfast yesteray, described the game as “more of the same,” but that the Call of Duty series has “got the recipe right”.

Trade in Medal of Honor, it’s yours… for £7

Many retailers are offering trade-ins for those looking to get Black Ops on the cheap. Swapping Danger Close shooter Medal of Honor could land you Black Ops for £7.99.

Other deals going on are below (thanks, MCV).

  • Asda – £4.97 if Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III or Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II are traded in. Otherwise, it’s £36.97 on its own.
  • Blockbuster – 99p if two of the following titles – Medal of Honor, Fable III, Fallout: New Vegas, EA MMA, F1 2010 or Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II – are traded in. It’s £44.99 on its own.
  • GAME/GameStation – £24.99 if bought with any other chart title or if Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2, F1 2010 or FIFA 11 are traded in.
  • HMV – £7.99 if Medal of Honor is traded in. Otherwise, it’s £42.99 on its own.
  • Morrisons – £29.99 if bought with another chart title. On its own, it’ll be £39.99.
  • Sainsburys – Its £27.97 if £30 or more is spent in store. It’ll be £37.97 stand alone.
  • Tesco – £25 when bought with 2100 Xbox Live Points Card, 3 Months Xbox Live Gold Membership or a £20 PS3 PSN Card. On its own, it’s £36.97.

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