EA has severed licensing ties with gun manufacturers. The company told Reuters that it will no longer pay gun companies to use their names and guns, however this won’t prevent these guns from featuring in future EA titles.
It has been industry practice for publishers like EA and Activision to have deals in place with weapons manufacturers to use their brands and products in games such as Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Call of Duty: Black Ops II; Eurogamer’s Simon Parkin looked at the issue earlier this year.
Indeed, in the lead up to Warfighter’s release, EA highly touted the game’s attention to “authenticity”, going so far as to use the game’s website to promote its gun partnerships and to even promote a real-life Warfighter-branded tomahawk.
After criticism, the company removed all references to gun maker partnerships from the website, and now it has taken this one step further. “We won’t do that again,” EA spokesperson Jeff Brown told Reuters, “The action games we will release this year will not include licensed images of weapons.” He said that the recent gun-control debate and comments from the NRA had no impact on the decision, “The response from our audience was pretty clear: they feel the comments from the NRA were a simple attempt to change the subject”
However, EA has said that it still has the ability to use real-world guns in game, even without licence. “We’re telling a story and we have a point of view,” said EA President of Labels Frank Gibeau, “A book doesn’t pay for saying the word ‘Colt,’ for example.”
Although gun companies have yet to sue a game company for unlicensed use of their products in-game, the helicopter manufacturer Taxtron Inc has argued that the Battlefield series’ use of its Bell Helicoptor amounted to trademark infringement. EA pre-emptively filed a suit against the company to settle this issue.
Activision has not commented on the issue.
[Source: Reuters (via The Verge)]
[Image credit: @GunClub]