As Electronic Arts hopes to shoot to the top of the video game charts with the upcoming Battlefield V, the company is reminding gamers that it no longer works with gun manufacturers for their games.
Going head-to-head with Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, EA is once again polishing its pistols and heading back to the depths of World War II for Battlefield V. While the franchise is receiving a variety of upgrades, the latest game is also the latest installment to distance itself from having controversial real-life weapon product placements.
Back in 2013, EA confirmed to Reuters (via Eurogamer) that it would drop gun makers from its upcoming titles, ending a lucrative business deal of product placement in video games. During the action-packed reveal trailer for Battlefield V, the video opened with a stark warning that no sponsorship will be featured in the game: "No weapon, gear or vehicle manufacturer is affiliated with or has sponsored or endorsed this game."
In 2016, Battlefield 1 included a similar disclaimer in the fine print of its live stream announcement, but never before has a game shown such a stark reminder that it isn't involved with weapon manufacturers. Over the years, EA has been slammed for its awkward product placement, while selling a Medal of Honor tomahawk to raise money for veterans in 2012 also raised a few eyebrows.
EA's 2013 decision came after sniper rifle manufacturer Barrett admitted it had several contracts in place with the likes of EA and Activision to promote their guns in some of their best-selling game titles. Only this year, U.S. President Trump's administration has made it a point to single-out video game violence in the wake of several mass school shootings, so EA is reaffirming its stance on where its priorities lie. In a time when the industry as a whole is under the microscope, it's a clever move to assure critics that Battlefield V and the rest of EA's games are against this kind of gun promotion.
EA is undoubtedly making the right move here, but it remains to be seen whether all shooter games will feature a similar warning, like in Battlefield V's trailer, in the future. After all, this installment is set in WWII, but there are plenty of modern shooter games that feature real-life weaponry in them - and it's those games that may soon come under scrutiny.