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How Videogames Help Fund the Arms Industry

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the bidding-for-bad-guy-guns-seems-lucrative-too dept.

Businesses 410

FhnuZoag writes "Eurogamer has an expose of the shady world of games developers licensing guns. From the article: '"We must be paid a royalty fee — either a one-time payment or a percentage of sales, all negotiable. Typically, a licensee pays between 5 per cent to 10 per cent retail price for the agreement. [...] We want to know explicitly how the rifle is to be used, ensuring that we are shown in a positive light... Such as the 'good guys' using the rifle," says [Barett Rifles'] Vaughn.'"

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How about just not naming them real names? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752569)

Why would you bother calling it by its real world name?

Just call it something else and don't pay.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#42752611)

Something like the BFG9000?

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752627)

I was thinking more like counter strike handled it.

Instead of a desert eagle, they had a deagle, instead of a Arctic Warfare Magmun, they had the AWP. Stuff like that.

I think the BFG is far enough from real weapons to avoid licensing costs.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42752681)

id probably has a trademark on BFG. With it being an iconic weapon in their Doom series.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752789)

Trademarks are only good for the market you are in. There is in fact a company that sells a BFG(Big Frame Revolver) and id has no way to come after them. Id does not market or sell revolvers.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (2)

marsu_k (701360) | about 2 years ago | (#42752895)

Not that I disagree with you in principle, but BFG != BFR.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42753063)

I messed that up somehow, sorry.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752927)

The Desert Eagle is called the Nighthawk in Counter-Strike. Deagle is just a nickname made from shortening its real name. Further, the newest CS game uses real-world weapons name, albeit most IIRC don't use manafacturer names (the IMI Negev machine gun is just the Negev, for example)

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752963)

Sorry I have not played it for many years.

To me 1.6 was the last CS. I am not interested in any of this swat shield nonsense.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (3, Interesting)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 2 years ago | (#42753105)

In CS:S the names were changed in the buy menus, but had real-world names in console.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42753069)

Exactly what I was thinking, the game Live for Speed does something similar with cars, and even makes them look a bit different, but the car guys know what they're really supposed to be.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753141)

I think many corporations would have considerable trouble in convincing their legal department to let them do that. Makers of modern shooters aren't exactly known for being daring.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (4, Funny)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42752649)

Because that would destroy the "realism" of games like Call of Duty... People who play those games want to pretend they're using the ACTUAL rifles that are used by the Military.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752699)

Realism?

The old Ghost Recon had realism, in Call of Honor or Medal of Duty you can absorb far more damage than is realistic.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752859)

Realism?

The old Ghost Recon had realism, in Call of Honor or Medal of Duty you can absorb far more damage than is realistic.

Unless you play Call of Duty Hardcore, about as real as you can get, no mini map, a bullet or two kills you instantly, etc. Mini map only shows when a teammate calls in a UAV or other recon aircraft.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752915)

The old Ghost Recon had realism, in Call of Honor or Medal of Duty you can absorb far more damage than is realistic.

Realism isn't binary.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (2)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#42753009)

Hence the airquotes, no doubt. Such games sell a certain, specific image of war. And this article shows an aspect of the thinking that goes behind that.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#42753089)

I tried to play through the original Ghost Recon again recently...I don't know how I ever got through that game before, I just don't have the patience for it now.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42753229)

I love that kind of game. We played it on line in college and it was great.

Games these days are just to easy. Damn kids!

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 2 years ago | (#42752683)

This is the conclusion I came to after reading the article. Not only do you save tons on licencing fees or potential legal headaches, but you're also free of the questionable ethics of advertising real firearms in the game.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752697)

Why would you bother calling it by its real world name?

Just call it something else and don't pay.

Some do, and they put changes into the models used for the guns so they can't get them on design patents/trademarks, either. That's not even mentioning games where you just have the generic "Pistol", "Shotgun", "SMG", "Sniper Rifle", etc.

But, you're underestimating the potential profit margin to be had on gun nuts with an apparent fetish for realistic armaments but can't afford them. All they need to do is get over the initial investment of licensing, and those lunatics will buy anything with increasingly accurate representations of their precious, precious surrogate manhoods.

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (5, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | about 2 years ago | (#42752771)

Just call it something else and don't pay.

For gods sake man, spoonfeed them some examples or we'll never see it happen. Like

  • Sith & Messy
  • Cold
  • Kohlslanikov
  • Ligal

Not to mention the all time classic:

  • Heckling Cock

Re:How about just not naming them real names? (5, Interesting)

gmcraff (61718) | about 2 years ago | (#42753029)

Verisimilitude.

If you're going to make a game set in WW2, you model real WW2 weapons.

If your game is set anywhere from 1990 to 2050, and you're trying to model real-world combat situations (with varying degrees of accuracy), then you'll have to model real world firearms. Due to the durability of firearms and the essentially mature technology, you could expect current technology and models to be used for decades. Consider the 1911 pistol for example: that's not a just a model number, that's the year it was introduced. It's also the most common handgun used by serious competitors today.

Savvy gamers today just aren't going to buy it if their High Intensity Combat Operative character in the game is deploying with Generic Intermediate Caliber Select Fire Rifle firing the combat tested 5.44x40mm Solid Lead to Ashcanistan to fight the nefarious Ethnically and Ideologically Unidentifiable Terrorist Organization. They want their DEVGRU to drop out of a Lockheed C-130J into Timbuktu carrying a Colt M-4 Carbine with a Trijicon ACOG on top so they can put a 5.56mm NATO round into the tuches of a Al Qaeda splinter group that's trying to destroy a UN World Heritage site. (Licensing fees paid for all those trademarks.)

If you want to make stuff up, you've got to set your story a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, or some other equivalent narrative technique to put distance between what the player knows and the game-world contains. You can fake medieval weapons. You can't fake modern fire-arms in present-day settings.

congratulations. (-1, Troll)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#42752623)

by demanding shallow `realism,' you've ensured an overall bias in favor of the gunrunners you're accidentally supporting.

Re:congratulations. (1, Insightful)

kwiqsilver (585008) | about 2 years ago | (#42752735)

Gun runners? Are you implying that companies like Colt, FN, and Barrett are smuggling illicit firearms to drug cartels and African warlords? They sell almost exclusively to the US government...which is far worse.

Re:congratulations. (4, Informative)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#42752913)

They also sell to private gun shops, which the federal government orders to purposely sell to Mexican drug runners and their straw purchasers.

Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753039)

So the government botched a sting operation called Fast and Furious and you're going to frame them as if it's standard operating procedure?

It's not. The people involved were trying to create a mountain of evidence such the the prosecutors could act on it, and they failed, utterly. I am not defending their competence, but their goal was to shutdown this loophole, not to widen it.

As for gun companies getting in on trademark licensing. This barely feels like news to me.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753107)

So the government botched a sting operation called Fast and Furious and you're going to frame them as if it's standard operating procedure?

It's not. The people involved were trying to create a mountain of evidence such the the prosecutors could act on it, and they failed, utterly. I am not defending their competence, but their goal was to shutdown this loophole, not to widen it.

As for gun companies getting in on trademark licensing. This barely feels like news to me.

The "Loophole" as you call it is a political concern. Not a criminal concern. The "sting" was an act of betrayal and fraud to the innocents involved, and contrary to the oath the ATF agents (including Holder) took to uphold the constitution.

Simple cronyism to manipulate politics.

Re:congratulations. (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 2 years ago | (#42752809)

Not all firearms manufacturers are in the gun running business, certainly not any reputable branded firearms makers,

Shady? Really? (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42752625)

So there's a copyrighted look, a trademarked name, and a patented design. Players demand real brand-name stuff in their games, so developers deliver by licensing real brand-name stuff in their games. To do this legally means getting a license.

What's so shady about that?

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752673)

How can they copyright the look when so many are so close?

Without the trademarks can you really tell the difference between a COLT AR15 and a Bushmaster or an Olympic Arms? The patents on those designs have surely run out.

As far as I can tell for all but the newest guns the only issue should be trademarks.

Re:Shady? Really? (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42752781)

How can they copyright the look when so many are so close?

Without the trademarks can you really tell the difference between a COLT AR15 and a Bushmaster or an Olympic Arms? The patents on those designs have surely run out.

As far as I can tell for all but the newest guns the only issue should be trademarks.

It's not that I don't agree, but how is that shady when the game developers are licensing the designs? If anything, that's a problem with the way copyright/trademark/patents work.

I don't really understand this article. Would it be less shady if the game developers just stuck brand names in their games without licenses? Would it be less shady if they were petitioning to the courts that rule the designs can't be copyrighted? Would it be less shady if the license agreements didn't come with a catch on usage? I'm pretty sure Disney wouldn't license Mickey to a game that intends to throw him into a wood chipper and would drop a bomb on Disneyland.

Maybe I'm looking for some deep meaning other than "oh, look, it's just like everything else branded but with guns"

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42752819)

I don't think it is shady. Just a waste of money that could be profit.

I think it is just like everything else branded in games. Smart publishers should be charging the gun makers for the advertising. "You want the bushmaster name in our game you pay us, otherwise we will just go talk to all your competitors".

Re:Shady? Really? (-1, Flamebait)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about 2 years ago | (#42753143)

Dont you get it? The evil game companies turning everyone into mindless killing machines are also helping fund the evil gun manufacturers that are arming the mindless killing machines! It's all a massive conspiracy from wingnut teabagger Republicans! Someone sign an executive order immediately!

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#42752845)

I figured that they thought the licensed guns were a cheap way to add a "realistic" touch to the game.

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about 2 years ago | (#42753075)

The look isn't copyrighted.
TFA tells us that game studios often work around licenses by using not using the trademarked name of the gun.

Re:Shady? Really? (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42752873)

You must of missed all the news for the past month. "Guns" are the new "terrorism".

Re:Shady? Really? (3, Informative)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#42752885)

It's shady because the games publishers are (perhaps understandably) evasive about the amount of money they are funnelling into the weapons industry, and are working under direct conditions to portray guns in a positive manner so as to encourage gun sales, even as they claim to be non-political and not pushing violence.

5-10% of retail sales is a *lot*.

Re:Shady? Really? (2)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#42753183)

t's shady because the games publishers are (perhaps understandably) evasive about the amount of money they are funnelling into the weapons industry, and are working under direct conditions to portray guns in a positive manner so as to encourage gun sales, even as they claim to be non-political and not pushing violence.

You could say that substituting any sort of industry for the weapons industry. And really, do you ever expect games publishers to tell you their budgets for anything? Or to work with an industry to discourage sales from the industry?

All you're doing is describing things that would be standard procedures for any industry, but since it's about guns you're making it sound evil. It's not as if had they been using Coca-Cola in the game they'd be portraying it in a negative manner.

Re:Shady? Really? (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#42752917)

But remember, guns are evil right now in group think. So are video games. So if it involves guns and video games it must be double EEEEVIL.

Re:Shady? Really? Beaulijah: I think so (1)

beaulijah (2829657) | about 2 years ago | (#42752981)

So there's a copyrighted look, a trademarked name, and a patented design. Players demand real brand-name stuff in their games, so developers deliver by licensing real brand-name stuff in their games. To do this legally means getting a license.

What's so shady about that?

As the article stated, Gun manufactures are given full disclosure of how their weapons are demonstrated to the public, therefore allowing them some control in how the game is made. Meaning, developers are just middle men and not originators of the game. This is way deeper than some brand name look, this goes into conditioning. Gun manufactures have influence in game dialogue, character development and game design and marketing of it. Conditioning includes the idea good guy and bad guy which can skew the perception of those playing it 12hour on and off.

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#42752985)

What's so shady about that?

Given the media frenzy along with public sensitivity, the only thing I can think of is they've used the word 'gun' and 'game' in the same sentence thereby admitting to wrongdoing. Film at 11.

Stop going against the popular narrative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753005)

Guns are bad, and if you look at a gun, you're bad. Mmkay?

(one of those circumstances where you realize the Left can be just as irrational as the Right)

Re:Stop going against the popular narrative (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#42753127)

there are many if you are honest with yourself.

Re:Shady? Really? (4, Insightful)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about 2 years ago | (#42753057)

The arms manufacturers are actually anything but shady in the article, as they've been transparent about the entire process (the games industry would have looked a lot better in this article if they had acted the same way, rather than acting defensively, although we've no way of knowing exactly what questions they were asked).

This article does a great job pointing out the 'shadiness' of the NRA's about-face in participating in the video games industry, then turning around and declaring it the root of all evil. I think really, what this article demonstrates though if anything, is that the average consumer doesn't stop to think about how every realistic item that appears in media is probably either licensed or promotional.

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#42753101)

because gunz are teh scary these days and anyone who supports guns by any means at all is equally teh evol. At least thats what the media tells me

Re:Shady? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753123)

The world is becoming more and more controlled by Liberal retards. The next perpetual war that Democrats are pushing is the War-on-Guns.

Just check out Google News.... since the Newtown shooting, every gun murder that occurs is now a "Top News" story. I don't want to make diminish the tragedy of gun violence, but gun homicides have been occurring for decades. The difference now is the liberal anti-gun stance is allowed to be played in the media without too much public resistance. And the news media is playing right along.

Re:Shady? Really? (3, Informative)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about 2 years ago | (#42753139)

So there's a copyrighted look, a trademarked name, and a patented design. Players demand real brand-name stuff in their games, so developers deliver by licensing real brand-name stuff in their games. To do this legally means getting a license.

What's so shady about that?

So, read the actual article.

The article's arguments, for the "TLDR" crowd, amount to this:
1. Like the candy cigarettes before them, the depiction of realistic guns--especially with the real names attached--amounts to advertisement towards a target population of young individuals, to influence them to purchase the real thing. They provide some anecdotal evidence that it works. As a personal anecdote, I know that it's worked on me (I own a BB gun that's a model of the USP .50; it was my favorite gun & skin from Counter-strike 1).

2. The "shady" part is that the game companies would, seemingly universally, prefer not to talk publicly about any of this (i.e., that there's any ongoing collaboration, licensing, or even two-way discussion between them and gun manufacturers). This is likely a socially-perceived "negative" topic, and therefore discussing it would likely negatively impact sales by casting their companies in a negative light.

Like candy cigarettes, any advertising of an inherently dangerous/deadly product towards an adolescent target audience probably should be carefully scrutinized, regulated, or eliminated.

Re:Shady? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753185)

You are supporting murder.

Shady enough?

Re:Shady? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753213)

Psssst... the establishment is trying to demonize the second amendment. Just play along ;)

And this is news? (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42752631)

Who didn't already know this?

Re:And this is news? (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#42752793)

I didn't. But then, I don't really have an issue with the arms industry so I don't care. Hell, my tax dollars fund the arms industry. Not a damn thing I could do about it even if I cared.

Re:And this is news? (5, Insightful)

Migraineman (632203) | about 2 years ago | (#42753135)

I would imagine that this situation exists for games featuring cars, airplanes, or any other product that has a corporate brand identity. But a headline decrying "Video Games Fund the Automotive Industry" just doesn't have any punch.

What is shady about it? (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#42752637)

I don't understand what is shady about licensing product names, or why someone playing a FPS would care.

Re:What is shady about it? (1, Informative)

mvdwege (243851) | about 2 years ago | (#42752801)

It's shady because the condition of the licensing is to only show the good uses of a morally neutral tool.

In other words, the condition of the licensing is to use the game as a propaganda tool.

Re:What is shady about it? (2)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#42752897)

Why is this shady? If McDonalds allowed the use of their franchise in GTA, wouldn't they want a say in how it is used?

Re:What is shady about it? (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42752975)

if you are so hung up on morals, don't play games where violence is the core of the game

Re:What is shady about it? (1)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about 2 years ago | (#42753111)

You can be moral, and distinguish between fantasy violence and the real world. Some prefer to keep it that way from start to end.

Re:What is shady about it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753173)

Other licensing deals do the same thing; it's noticeable with cars and computers used by protagonists vs those used by antagonists. Shady isn't the word I'd use, and the submission is sensationalist.

Re:What is shady about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753203)

That's dumb. Propaganda is a message designed to construe a political message in a light favorable to the person or group issuing the message.

THis is marketing; this is a company saying they don't want their brand damaged by making them look like bad guys. If Donkey Kong started firing a banana rocket launcher at Mario with Dole stickers ont he side, you can be certain Dole would want to protect their name and image. This is no different.

There's nothing shady about this, except it's about OMFGEEZIEBALLS it's about GUNS! And they're trying to make themselves look good, but they are evil because GUNS!!!!! They're propagandistic, and the video games are FUNDING WEAPONS DEVELOPERS. It's not shady at all, it's just a connection between video game developers and gun manufacturers. Replace the gun manufacturers with mushroom growers requiring a license fee to show their brand every time Mario consumes a mushroom, and you have the same issue but no story.

Re:What is shady about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752891)

Maybe it's not your case, but some people do care if the money they spend on a videogame ultimately goes to industries like the Arms Industry. It is perfectly valid, as a customer, to refuse to spend money on games that, due to copyright, end up supporting an industry they loathe (I may like playing a virtual FPS, but loathe an industry that makes money by putting guns in the hands of African children so they kill each other).

Re:What is shady about it? (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#42752941)

A large proportion of people oppose these companies, and would not like to think that their money is going to them, and were consuming intentional propaganda to glorify their products. I'm a FPS gamer, and I for one would reconsider purchasing future modern warfare style games given this fact.

Re:What is shady about it? (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#42753031)

Why should a gun manufacturers profit imperative be different than any other company? Can you name a single company that doesn't try to maintain a public image (public relations).

Re:What is shady about it? (0)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#42753115)

Oh, sure, gun companies will definitely try to make money. I'd argue that such actions are amoral, but that's a minor point.

The main blame here is on the games companies licensing the names, in establishing these relationships, paying the money, hiding it from their customers.

Re:What is shady about it? (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42753071)

Maybe it's not your case, but some people do care if the money they spend on a videogame ultimately goes to industries like the Arms Industry. It is perfectly valid, as a customer, to refuse to spend money on games that, due to copyright, end up supporting an industry they loathe (I may like playing a virtual FPS, but loathe an industry that makes money by putting guns in the hands of African children so they kill each other).

Yeah, but how far does that go? I don't want my money to go to a company that supports DRM, so that's easy. I also don't want my money going to Oracle. Does it make sense to not buy a game because the company that published it might have an ancillary backend database for something tangentially related? I don't want my money going to nuclear weapons, but the companies pay taxes to the government which, in part, helps fund the stockpile. I don't want my money going to child prostitutes but who knows what any given employee might do with his take home salary.

If it makes you feel better, I doubt game companies paying licensing fees to manufacturers are trickling down to illegal arms dealers in violation of UN treaties with discounts on kid-sized AKs.

Re:What is shady about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753081)

Those people already aren't buying those games.

Shady? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752639)

How is this shady? Isn't this exactly how licensing usually works?

Huh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752641)

Screw that, I'd just change the name.
That's not an AK, that's a BK. There's also a 1/10 chance it fires a hamburger.

Re:Huh. (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#42752849)

Screw that, I'd just change the name.

That's not an AK, that's a BK. There's also a 1/10 chance it fires a hamburger.

It doesn't crit so it's balanced.

Re:Huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753235)

No, no. It has to do something with mini-crits. Everything is mini-crits.

Vladof! Vladof! Vlaaaaaaadoooooooof! (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#42752655)

I'm guessing Borderlands doesn't have this issue.

Here we go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752729)

Prepare for the epic derp-fest of anti-corporate leftist dweebs *shocked* that games would license rights from the evil arms companies.

All while DL COD/MW from mega...

Re:Here we go (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | about 2 years ago | (#42752983)

Hey, if it's pirated, then no money goes to these people.

What Is Shady?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752657)

That they're licensing a company's depictions of a legal product? Can you explain how this would be different than licensing cars, planes, soft drinks, sports teams, comic book characters or anything else that goes into a video game? What exactly is new about this story that isn't already well known?

This article is pure flamebait. Slashdot should be better than this, but I guess the website traffic must be trending down.

Re:What Is Shady?? (2)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42753055)

"This article is pure flamebait. Slashdot should be better than this"

It's taken a steep dive in quality since the new overlords took over.

The idea of gun manufacturers being worried about image can play into the hands of those currently blatting about violent games having an effect in the real world.

I wouldn't be surprised if this gets linked to with the line accompanying "Gun manufacturers pay money to video games, thus proving they influence people."

Re:What Is Shady?? (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 2 years ago | (#42753061)

What exactly is new about this story that isn't already well known?

TBH, I'm surprised they charge licensing fees, at least for established game series. I would have suspected it operated more on an under-the-table product placement basis, ie the CEO gets a free rifle, the dev team gets some T-shirts, and the manufacturer gets their new gun front and center in the next CoD game's "big damn heroes" moment.

Re:What Is Shady?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753245)

Thats only for Hollywood.

j/k j/k... ...kinda. Depending on how high profile the company is and what the product is going to be used for, its not uncommon for companies to license/give/PAY FOR their product to be featured in a product. Hollywood is the best example in that most companies will often time charge a licensing fee, waive the licensing fee or pay the movie studio to use their product and not the competitors'. If you're a small indie movie studio, you can expect to have to pay a licensing fee. For something by a big publisher but with no major directors or actors taking part, you could get the fee waived. For a Steven Spielberg movie with Harrison Ford, you'd see companies fighting to have their products in the movie.

Re:What Is Shady?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753065)

And Barrett, creator of the M82, a shoulder-mounted, .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifle, hopes that the appearance of its weapon in a video game will, in time, turn young players into gun owners.

Can you spot the problem that shows the writer knows jack-shit about guns?

Article is quite clearly the uninformed, mindless babbling of some European peasant.

Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752693)

Guns are the only thing that will make us safe from people with guns, so we should feel good about funding the arms industry. Good law-abiding citizens should be spending 7-12% of their income on guns. Use the holidays, Valnetine's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, the first day of school, and Veterans Day as reminders to buy firearms. Have a little extra money and feel in a giving mood? There are plenty of needy families that could use more weapons.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42752901)

Personalty, I rely on high-powered "lasers" strapped to dangerous predators.

kewl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752731)

Good for the gun makers, every little bit of profit helps them survive.

In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42752745)

How racing game developers support the shady world of automobile manufacturers. How EA supports the shady world of the NFL...

The other way around (1)

itscompiling (1166229) | about 2 years ago | (#42752753)

How many gamers gained interest in weapons by playing video games? (I did) Why isn't it the other way around, gun manufacturers paying the game developers a fee to promote their gun?

Do car games (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42752797)

...do the same for cars? Just wondering.

Re:Do car games - Yes. (2)

Ameryll (2390886) | about 2 years ago | (#42752931)

Yes. A relative of mine works for a company that wanted to do a racing sim and they eventually gave up because of the nightmare that was trying to get permission to use real cars like Porsche or Corvette.

Re:Do car games - Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753011)

In other words, part of their deal with existing game makers is that they shut out new game makers.

Re:Do car games (1)

operagost (62405) | about 2 years ago | (#42752949)

Yes, but as an AC pointed out earlier, this isn't a hot-button issue right now. Gun-control mania is.

Re:Do car games (1)

itscompiling (1166229) | about 2 years ago | (#42752989)

Pretty sure it does. That is probably why there's a lot of big brand missing (Ferrari, Lambo, ...) in every edition of Gran Turismo. Maybe they didn't want to pay the high fee. That or exclusivity was signed with another game.

Re:Do car games (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 2 years ago | (#42753049)

Yes, and usually the conditions include not showing the car getting wrecked in a crash, which is why Burnout and GTA type games all have to use phony cars.

Why this is bad (1)

joeflies (529536) | about 2 years ago | (#42752945)

"We want to know explicitly how the rifle is to be used, ensuring that we are shown in a positive light"

I agree with the above posters that licensing the right to use a the title is a fair practice. What is not fair is the restrictions placed on how the item can be used in the game. You are licensing the right to use the name of a real world weapon, and end up signing away the rights of how a gun can be used and who could use them in a game. How is that a fair depiction of the real world? It's like paying to be an advertiser for the gun company..

Re:Why this is bad (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#42753181)

why not? for years car makers wouldnt allow "real damage" or in some cases any damage shown on their cars in racing games. How is this any different?

Seems backwards to me (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | about 2 years ago | (#42753047)

After reading the article it seems the gun manufacturers should pay the game companies for advertising if the developer shows the gun in a good light. Based on the article gun sales can be significantly higher when they are featured in a game.

Re:Seems backwards to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753223)

The manufacturers are already two or three years behind in production thanks to the windmill tilting going on by the left. They don't need to pay for advertising for a while. No point to it, everything they make is sold more or less instantly.

The name doesn't have to be exactly right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753073)

...to influence the reputation of the weapon.

"Are you giving us the free licence to depict an AK-47 the way we want to or would you prefer a shitty AKA-47 in the game?"

Gray area (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753157)

The use of real items in a fictional context is a very gray area in Law. The idea that any manufactured item requires a license when it appears in a film, book or game is plainly a nonsense. Consider an urban scene in a movie. Within seconds, tens of thousands of manufactured items are visible, each with a product name and a company that produced them. Do you REALLY think the fact that these items are onscreen requires the produces to seek permission, or gain licenses?

Does this situation even change just because the character in the movies says "do you want a Coke?", or "I'm going to use the Hoover?" (and I'm not talking about product placement, which would be the OTHER reason to mention brand names).

Dirty, corrupt Hollywood lawyers have worked over the years to leverage an artificially created 'uncertainty', and now shill sites like this with the idea that anything 'real' used in a film or game must be paid for (with lawyers taking a VERY nice slice of the pie). The truth is the opposite, except under very rare circumstances.

In a game, where the gameplay involves the use of modern weapons, there is absolutely no reason why the people that produce the game need permission from the real life weapon manufacturers. If the weapon were shown in a bad light (say, by malfunctioning, or having sub-standard performance), the manufacturing MIGHT be able to take legal action, but even in this case success in the courts would be most uncertain.

The fantasy of mandatory license requirements was built by said Hollywood lawyers in a very crafty way. Most countries pervert their legal system to allow 'sponsorship' of sporting events. Corrupt politicians create obscene exceptions for the people that run major sports (the Olympics and F1 Motor racing are particularly egregious examples).

Now, many computer games from the second wave of consoles were 'sports' games, and pretty quickly these 'sports' games moved from the generic (play football, play basketball, etc) to the specific (play official FIFA football, play official NBA basketball, etc). Official sports are covered by exclusive licenses permitted by exceptions to the Law made possible by the actions of corrupt politicians.

However, it was with RACING games where all this came to a head. Official racing commonly involves certain models of car. But what if a computer game didn't pay for an official license, but still used the same model of car? The 'Hollywood' lawyers spotted an opportunity, and suggested to the car companies that their product could ONLY appear in a game if they gave permission (got paid). This represents a MASSIVE distortion of the law. Even if a game mentions the name of a car, there is no mechanism in law suggesting the game producers should have to pay to use the car in their game.

Manufactured goods are NOT works of art, or protected IP when it comes to their visual portrayal in media. The Law actually makes this point clear in most nations of the world. However, the biggest game companies pay large amounts of money to buy the rights to many events, so they tend to see the perversion of licensing as a weapon against would-be competitors.

Most game companies now feel obliged to produce generic versions of items representative of manufactured goods, and to name these items with fictional product names. If the REAL names and shapes are used, the game company feels obliged to form a relationship with the manufacturer (which may actually involve money, goods or services flowing toward the publishers- emulating sports sponsorship). The computer game "Battlefield 3" (a putrid sequel to a once class IP) actually chose to be a propaganda storefront for Obama's wars of aggression, and got into trouble because of its close link with weapons companies actively promoting violence across the planet in real life.

Computer games don't FUND the arms industry, but they do PROMOTE the military industrial complex of the West. The recent attack on a gas facility in a remote Saharan desert location within Algeria could have come straight out of "Battlefield 2" or any one of a dozen other recent computer games. While the games are nothing like real war, they do prepare the player for the expectation that such battles will be commonplace anywhere where Obama's puppet-masters deem to be a new war-zone. These games encourage the players to 'normalise' the experience of creating situations of extreme violence and destruction in designated target nations.

TLDR- games do NOT require licenses for depictions of ordinary manufactured goods UNLESS such depictions involve sporting events/items that have been given special treatment by lawmakers.

THIS JUST IN, BREAKING NEWS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753257)

Auto racing games pay licensing fees to auto manufacturers and aftermarket parts companies!!! Isn't that shady?!? Also, there's a rumor that EA Sports pays licensing fees to NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, etc... to use real teams names and logos in their games! Oooohh, so scandalous!!! ... The anti-second amendment bias is mind-boggling. I know that /. is consistantly slanted against certain things e.g. Microsoft, but do they have to be anti-human rights?

(pLus one Informative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42753261)

Its corPse turned

Wait, what? (1)

cfalcon (779563) | about 2 years ago | (#42753265)

Gun companies doing this crap is to be expected, given the wild cash and prizes that have been thrown at professional sports and car manufacturers over the years. The thing where cars can't take damage is due to that too.

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