We reported on Danger Close’s and EA’s rather close links with gun manufacturers earlier in the week. The Gameological Society published an excellent piece on the altogether too close relationsip between game and firearms manufacturers, and more than one outlet followed up on the issue. Now, it seems EA has gotten wind of the brewing discussion, and taken action – the direct links to gun manufacturers have been removed.
Just this morning, Gamespot’s Laura Parker noticed, via Twitter, that the links to weapons manufacturers had been removed, and that many of Greg Goodrich’s rather... effusive blog entries were also being deleted.
As of writing, many are still up, but are slowly disappearing. Just while writing that last sentence, I saw at least a half-dozen posts with the ‘partner’ tag disappear from the page. Now missing are glowing endorsements of sniper rifles, tomahawks, and more.
While many do feel that there’s no issue with such close ties between game-maker and gun-manufacturer, the fact remains that there are many pastimes where this kind of dangerous cross-promotion is now illegal. One need only look to cigarette advertising and sport, for instance, to see that such links can be dangerously effective. So too with this; it’s not the accuracy that’s the issue, it’s not the detail of the weapons or even how lovingly they may be represented.
But having a game developer directly assist in the sales of firearms simply cuts too close to the bone. I love shooters; at Atomic, we have a Medal of Honor event coming up that is closely linked to real firearms, but there’s something wrong about just how close EA’s ‘partner’ relations are.
That may be an unpopular opinion, and trust me, it’s not an easy one to hold for such a fan of shooters. But the matter stands – a game developer just shouldn’t shill like this.
It should be pointed out that it’s hardly surprising though. EA has a long history of trying to monetise in-game advertising, and there’s no doubt that it’s getting good support from the industry when it comes to Medal of Honor.
But bad press is more powerful, it seems. Right now, there’s nothing listed on this EA page at all. It was a full list when I started writing.
There is no official statement from EA on the matter, though EA Australia has pointed out the Project Honor initiative, which is a charity drive to support special forces veteran and their families.
I look forward to your angry comments :)