Electronic Arts made waves throughout the gaming community when it started showcasing real-world weapons in marketing for Medal of Honor: Warfighter, but today the publisher is beginning to distance itself from its relationship with arms makers. Originally, the Medal of Honor: Warfighter website displayed the logos of various arms manufacturers along with links their products, allowing players to browse guns, knives, and other combat gear. While those logos are still present on the Warfighter website, the links have been removed.
So, Electronic Arts has made it a lot more difficult to browse these catalogs from the Warfighter site. It sounds like Electronic Arts wasn’t initially aware that its Warfighter partners page contained these links, as a representative told The New York Times that they were removed after they were discovered. “We felt it was inappropriate and took the links down,” Jeff Brown said.
In a separate statement in the same write-up, Electronic Arts likened itself to a film studio when it came time to explain why it put real-world guns in Warfighter. The company did it, obviously, to achieve a greater sense of realism, which is precisely what movie studios are doing when they license to rights to use various brands in their films. For what it’s worth, EA clarified that it didn’t receive any money for using these branded products in Warfighter.
The controversy surrounding Electronic Arts and its arms partners was so big that it nearly overshadowed the release of the game itself. With violence in video games being such a touchy subject, it’s probably good that EA removed the links from the Warfighter site, despite the fact that the descriptions and logos remain. What’s your take on this whole marketing nightmare?