With guns becoming a hot topic of debate once more in the United States, EA has chosen to distance themselves from arms manufacturers; no longer will EA pay for the right to depict real firearms in their games. Just because they aren’t going to pay any longer, don’t expect EA to stop using depictions of real weapons and vehicles; EA believes their constitutional rights under the tenants of free speech allow their use of trademarks without permission.
“We’re telling a story and we have a point of view,” said Frank Gibeau, EA’s President of Labels. “A book doesn’t pay for saying the word ‘Colt’ for example.”
A very similar claim was backed by a federal court in a previous case involving their use, without permission, of several helicopter models owned by Bell Helicopters in Battlefield 3. The Supreme Court ruled several years ago that video games are entitled the same free speech protections as other expressive works like film, books and movies.