What in the World—Week of April 24

Call of Duty is becoming a board game

Ever wanted to play a more leisurely—and no doubt infinitely more confusing—game of Call of Duty? Well now you can, thanks to next year’s arrival of Call of Duty: The Board Game.

According to Variety, Activision, Arcane Wonders, Genuine Entertainment, and Evolution will release “Call of Duty: The Board Game” worldwide next year, with preorders opening on Kickstarter this fall. It is being described as a strategy game where players assume the role of elite soldiers and compete on “iconic” maps from the hugely popular video game series.

“As lifelong COD fans, we’ve worked hard to capture the scope, stakes, and sheer intensity of the video games in ways that COD fans and board gamers new and old will love,” said Arcane Wonders CEO and designer Bryan Pope. “We’re looking forward to bringing the unforgettable fun and competitive frenzy of COD to game night for years to come.”

Call of Duty is one of the most successful video game franchises in history, with its recent installment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, achieving $1 billion in sales just two weeks after its October release.

An Allen Key for every American

IKEA is planning a $2.2 billion U.S. expansion over the next three years, marking the furniture retailer’s largest-ever investment in a single country.

According to CBS News, the company is looking to compete with the likes of Walmart and Wayfair through “affordable yet upscale feeling furniture and home goods.” It plans to open eight new larger-format stores and nine so-called plan and order points—smaller stores with an emphasis on kitchen, bedroom and living room project. It also plans to upgrade existing stores.

The plan includes a focus on the south, and the expansion is expected to see the U.S. surpass Germany as the company’s single-largest market. IKEA opened its first U.S. store in Philadelphia in 1985, and currently has 51 stores across the country.

“The U.S. is one of our most important markets, and we see endless opportunities to grow there and get closer to the many Americans with affordable products and services,” said Tolga Öncü, head of IKEA Retail. The company also plans to create 900 new pick-up locations for online ordering. According to UBS, more than one-third of furniture sales will be online by 2027.

Tito’s vodka launches collection for doggos (and their owners)

Wanna go drinkies? Vodka brand Tito’s, which bills itself as the Vodka for Dog People, has created a new capsule collection for dog-owners designed to make their daily walk a little more boozy.

Proceeds from sales of the new “Walktail Capsule Collection” go to Bissell Pet Foundation, which works to reduce the number of animals in shelters.

The collection includes a $45 fanny pack dubbed the “Tito’s Walk-Pack,” which is capable of holding the $30 Tito’s Walk & Sip drink holder (as well as up to three 50-ml mini-bottles of Tito’s). There’s also a $5 “Sniff in Style Bandana” for rover, as well as a $20 “Tito’s Dog Person Hat.”

“We love dogs and a good walktail with our friends and hope this inspires people to get together and enjoy a Tito’s cocktail on their next walktail stroll around the neighbourhood,” said Beth Bellantini-Pander, director of Vodka for Dog People, at Tito’s. “It’s a great way to hang out with friends and get outside if you’re feeling a bit cooped up—plus, the pups love it, too.”

Mini angers Chinese consumers with ice cream giveaway

BMW’s Mini brand has found itself in hot water over a cool treat. The German automaker has apologized after workers at a  Mini booth at an auto show in Shanghai were caught turning away Chinese customers asking for free ice cream, only to hand out the frozen treat to a western man.

Video of the incident subsequently went viral, with the Financial Times reporting that the hashtag “BMW Mini booth accused of discrimination” had amassed more than 190 million views and 11,000 discussions on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.

In a subsequent statement posted on Weibo, BMW blamed “sloppy internal management” and staff’s “failure of duty” for the situation. A later statement from Mini said that it “condemns racism and intolerance in any form,” and promised it would not happen again.

The incident comes as domestic carmakers are making steady inroads against international giants like BMW, with sales of homemade passenger cars set to outstrip those of their foreign counterparts this year.  Mini sold 28,700 cars in China last year, which represents 3.63% of its total annual sales. It is also entering into a joint venture with Great Wall Motors to produce an electric version of the Mini later this year.

Philly helps New Yorkers elude ‘silly’ bagel tax

Philadelphia Cream Cheese has partnered with New York bagel shop H&H Bagels on a tactic designed to help people escape the city’s infamous “bagel tax”—an 8.87% city and state sales tax that’s imposed whenever someone buys a bagel that is sliced and schmeared.

To get around the tax, Philly and H&H Bagels stuffed three bagel flavours—plain, everything, and cinnamon raisin—with its cream cheese. No slicing, no schmearing.

“In today’s landscape, people are juggling enough hurdles, and having to pay an extra tax to enjoy their favourite bagel with Philly cream cheese should simply not be one of them,” said Keenan White, senior brand manager, Philadelphia at Kraft Heinz Company. “A bagel with Philly cream cheese is an experience that so many know and love, so in partnership with H&H bagels, we wanted to provide a delicious solution to this silly tax in a way that kept the enjoyment of our brand at its core, literally.”

Chris Powell