Blake Russian, 27, made the trip from Arizona with his wife Heather, who bought XP tickets for him as a birthday gift. He says the show has turned out "absolutely amazing. It's very interesting to actually be here and see everything live and everyone walking around. The environment's awesome."
Keith Hamm came all the way out from South Carolina, with a few friends he actually met on Xbox Live. "I've never been out to California," he says about coming out to the show, "and I was like, here's my chance." He thought the show was going to be "more exclusive" than the 6,000 attendees who showed up. "It's amazing. I wouldn't expect it to be this huge."
I caught Hamm coming out of the Modern Warfare 3 gameplay area, and he says the new title is a lot like the old one. "I think it is a lot like Modern Warfare 2, with a lot of difference in perks and your killstreaks, and all of the extra little things they've added. It's actually quite nice; it's refreshing."
As for whether Hamm will make the trip back for the show if Activision does it again next year, he says it depends on what a new Call of Duty game would look like. "I'm an Infinity Ward fan versus a Treyarch fan, so if it was for Treyarch, I might." He's been watching what Respawn has been doing as well, but "I haven't heard much news about it," he says. "I thought with [the Infinity Ward split] happening, MW3 was going to be a lot of regurgitated Modern Warfare 2, and in some aspects it is. But with the stuff they've added, I think they'll be able to keep it fresh."
Munoz and Contreras also agree they'll come back next year if Activision throws another party, despite some early problems with organization at the show. "This is the first year," says Contreras, "so there are some faults here and there, but they'll fix those."
Russian checks with his wife to see if they'll come back again for a possible show next year. "I'll want to go every year. Right?" he says, looking at her before she laughs and gives him a yeah. "Sounds good."