Electronic Arts, the maker of the popular Medal of honour video game series, had a promotional deal with the McMillan Group (which makes sniper rifles), and Magpul (which sells accessories for assault weapons) in which the company’s weapons are promoted to game players, according to The New York Times,Gunmakers licence their brands to EA so that Call of Duty – Black Ops II features Barrett and Browning weapons, and Battlefield 3 features Colt, Heckler & Koch, Glock and Beretta firearms, the paper reports.
The deals are done partly for legal reasons — it can be risky to depict a weapon in a game without the permission of the maker — and partly as co-promotions, The Times reports. (Here’s a Magpul promo video for Medal of honour.)
Those deals are coming in for more scrutiny in the light of the Newtown massacre, in which shooter Adam Lanza is said to have played many hours of Call of Duty before going on a rampage that killed 27 children and adults. Also, Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who killed 77 people in 2010, is said to have “trained” himself before he committed murder by playing Call of Duty.
EA has since delinked its web sites from the gun manufacturers’.