EA Pushing Gun Industry Away, Refusing To Pay Branding Fees

Written by Andrew Moynihan on Wed, May 8, 2013 9:58 AM
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If you want to make your modern war game any good, you want people to believe they're actually there, and give them guns that they know; no-one wants to pay $60 and get a Tesco brand rifle.

EA are taking a stance though, saying they will no longer be paying the gun industry any money to use their brands; something which they believe they can successfully pull off...

Normally, if a game wants to use a real Colt or Barrett gun, they will need to pay the relevant company a license fee. However, these games are acting as free publicity for the gun makers, effectively meaning they are benefiting twice.

In another example, EA's President of Labels, Frank Gibeau, said:

"We're telling a story and we have a point of view. A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' for example."

EA intends to use it's right to free speech (constitutionally protected in the US) to continue using the trademarked guns without permission, which could cause large waves in the industries. EA must be confident however, as they currently already have a similar case in the courts, from Bell Helicopters. Bell have insisted that EA's use of their helicopter in it's Battlefield series was beyond fair use and was therefore trademark infringement.

That court case won't occur until June, but the backlash from this decision could happen sooner. Do you think EA are right to not support the gun industry? Or should trademarks always be respected? Tell us your thoughts!

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09:38 Aug-01-2013

sigh I can just imagine what anti-gun protagonists will do with this. When will people wake and realize that guns do not kill people, only people kill people. The gun only does what the person using it wants it to do...
More relevant to the article, EA is just getting greedy and will do almost anything to receive more money by investing less. At this stage, the extremes they are going to are just ridiculous and I'm certain that it will cost them dearly in the end, or at least I hope it will. I used to like EA, but now they have dirtied their own name and gained nothing except the hate of gamers all over the world.

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16:52 May-08-2013

With alot going on right now,
EA being criticized for their poorly formed Decisions.
Losing money and Laying Off Staff on a large scale.
Games not Going as Successfully as they'd hoped!
EA is Panicking and aiming for a Fresh Start!!
Atleast that's my Perspective!

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16:45 May-08-2013

EA is now cheap and won't bother spending the extra money, shame on you EA, I was a huge fan.

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14:05 May-08-2013

" EA are right to not support the gun industry " = hell yeah
"or should trademarks always be respected" = **** NO of course !

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13:52 May-08-2013

Ok this probably is a great move, however can anyone actually see this is just another way of EA making more money out of us ? The money they save on not having to pay the licensing fee, is that going to be passed onto the end user? I doubt it very much...

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12:39 May-08-2013

Good move on EA's part (for once)... The gun industry spends butt loads of cash lobbying against sensible firearms legislation just to sell their wares (you think they give a f*** about the Second Amendment?) and its best not to throw money away on animated guns that are not really physically rented by game studios... By the same standards, they should pay New York city royalties for Crysis 2 and 3... Ridiculous...

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12:22 May-08-2013

At last a good move by EA. But seriously, who cares if the guns in games are copis of the real ones. I prefer more extreme weapons like the Gauss rifle in Crysis. If the game is not a historical one, e.g. WWII, there is no need for such things. I prefer more fantasy.
P.S: They should consider asking permission from Vikings and Barbarians for using their swords in games like Skyrim

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12:19 May-08-2013

this is what democracy and capitalism bring to you..If you use my name in a conversation I sue you...If you use a story that even slightly resembles to something that hapened to me, I sue you....If you have the same skin tone as me I sue you....this is fu* madness....THIS is what happens when government doesn't control companies and industries...tightly...they grow big and unstopable and start doing ** like this...

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12:27 May-08-2013

Capitalism isn't a flawless system. Nobody I think will argue that. Democracy however is a necessity, I don't know what your ideal form of government is but whatever happens I want a say in it. I pay taxes to support a government so I want to co-decide who is in that government.
People, and by extent companies have rights, if they feel those rights are violated they have the right to sue the person/company who violated those rights. It is up to the judicial system to decide if those rights were indeed violated.
Certain names and brands are property of people/companies, you can't use those whenever you want to, just like I can't take your car to go to work whenever I please.

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12:34 May-08-2013

I either have to pay for the use of your car and/or have your consent about it, or face the consequences.
For the same reason I can't use the name "skinimiseskurca " or whatever your real name is to make a game about you and make up a story of what you are doing.
So the same goes for guns in games.
What if EA decided to make a game where you need to kill as many students in a school as possible, using a Colt?
Such a thing where the name "Colt" is in direct relation to horrible events would be damaging to the brand name. Even if the game was fictional.

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12:13 May-08-2013

An agreeable solution would be to lower the fees necessary for using the brands. I think the real reasson EA is bitching about this is that they are greedy bastards who want more money, while investing less. " A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt" As Divayth said...not really the same thing! It's one to read about somthing in a book, and it's an entirely different matter to interact with that object in a 3D world based on real time laws and physics.

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12:28 May-08-2013

That's exactly what I meant. Thank you, I couldn't find the words ;)

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16:36 May-08-2013

it's not like ea's devs are distributing full schematics of branded guns. they built replicas to function like real ones in an environment that they created. there are no moving parts inside of those models. that colt reference in a book surely wouldn't describe the machining processes of making that gun or its schematics. good move ea, from a guy that would love to see the US take on guns policies similar to AU, JP and the UK.

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12:03 May-08-2013

"A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' "
True, but not entirely the same, is it?
I also don't really know if this qualifies as an issue of "freedom of speech".
Anyway, I'm sure EA's legal division consists out of a lot of people that are smarter than me and have worked it out.
At least I hope that's what they did before EA makes a statement like this.

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12:08 May-08-2013

Discussion reminds me a bit of this. Granted, this guy (David Thorne, he's a god) mainly does it to taunt, but I think he had more of a case when it comes to freedom of speech than EA has in theirs.
Btw, if you don't know David Thorne already you should:
1. be ashamed
2. read a bit more on his site, most of his stuff makes for a hilarious read.

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11:54 May-08-2013

Well EA does have a point though :/

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11:32 May-08-2013

**** trademarks, ea give this bastards no attention, only thinking about money, procing weapons to kill people and want that others request their permission to use their weapons in games

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16:29 May-08-2013

f trademarks? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard why do people think like that? It's peoples design implementation. If you spend $100 million developing a gun or anything else would you want companies to just use the design and make money off of it without paying you money?

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