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EA drops gun licensing deals – but keeps the guns

Wednesday, 8th May 2013 09:00 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Electronic Arts has revealed plans to ditch gun licensing deals from its games – but will continue to feature well-known weaponry in their titles without paying gun manufacturers.

EA will carry on using ‘brand name’ weapons such as Walther, Colt or Remington in their games, but will now no longer sign any licensing deals with gun makers. EA will instead use them under the fair-use principle, featuring the weapons themselves but not paying a dividend to the owner of the image and design of the weapon.

Yahoo reports that EA has said that politics and recent National Rifle Association comments pointing to video games as part of the gun control problem in the US aren’t to blame for the decision – but still reiterate their commitment to dropping such deals.

“We’re telling a story and we have a point of view,” EA’s Frank Gibeau said. “A book doesn’t pay for saying the word ‘Colt,’ for example.”

EA’s theory is about to be put to the test in a court of law, as the company is currently battling aircraft maker Bell Helicopter. Bell argue that EA’s use of their vehicles in Battlefield extends beyond fair use and has become a trademark infringement. The case goes to jury trial in June.

EA had a particularly high profile weapon licensing deal for last year’s ill-fated Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and even had to call off a campaign where the game was used in a promotion of the sale of Tomahawks for charity.

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8 Comments

  1. Fin

    Eurogamer did a great article on this a while ago.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-01-shooters-how-video-games-fund-arms-manufacturers

    #1 1 year ago
  2. roadkill

    So.. why did they pay them before if they can get away without paying them now!?

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Alex Donaldson

    @2
    Often times it’s stuff like the gun companies send them weapons to test/use at the studio with agreements – so they can get the details right, record authentic sounds, etc. Not that I agree with them doing it!

    #3 1 year ago
  4. YoungZer0

    … shouldn’t the gun manufacturer pay EA for basically advertising their weapons?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. redwood

    shouldn’t they sue the shiz-nit out of EA for not using their products without their consent.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. redwood

    cause books also don’t pay Ferrari when they use the word Ferrari..

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Christopher Jack

    Hmm, I think patents have gone way too far. I don’t see movies paying for using the likeness of the millions of cars, brands, landmarks, etc that are featured. I just don’t think it’s right to prevent use of simple designs unless they’re directly profiting from its usage.

    Meh, design patents in general seem to go too far. At the moment patents just seem to be a way of holding back human advancements in general. You have to attempt to reinvent the wheel with each new product if you don’t already own a billion ones which only huge corporations can afford.

    I get why they exist, a way of enticing people to be creative & protecting their intellectual property but they just don’t really work all that well. Big changes are needed.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. roadkill

    @3 Thanks!

    #8 1 year ago

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