With so many eyes on the video game industry following the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting, Electronic Arts is aiming to separate itself from the maligned pack.
The gaming company removed online links to browse and buy real weapons featured in its war-based Medal of Honor game, according to reports.
“We felt it was inappropriate and took the links down,” an EA spokesman told the BBC. The company did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
Medal of Honor is famously written in part by active-duty U.S. military personnel ranked as Tier 1 Operators who are deployed overseas. The game is billed as being based on real-world military threats, providing what EA called “an aggressive, gritty, and authentic experience that puts gamers in the boots of today’s most precise and disciplined warriors.”
Adding to the authenticity of the game, EA has consulting partnerships with real companies which supply weapons and equipment to the U.S. military’s elite forces, including the McMillan Group, Trijicon, LaRue Tactical, U.S. Optics, Vickers Tactical, and nine others.
“Through these partnerships, Medal of Honor Warfighter delivers unrivaled authenticity and gives back to the military community through charitable cooperations,” EA’s promotional site for the game states.
According to the BBC, the game’s executive producer Greg Goodrich has in the past encouraged gamers to “head over to the Magpul website and gain an unfair advantage,” referencing a Colorado-based firearms firm that supports the video game.
In the wake of the Connecticut tragedy, EA now appears to be backing off from such direct tie-ins with real-life weapons makers.
The move comes a week after the National Rifle Association (NRA) spoke out about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, pointing the finger at violent video games.
“There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said during a Dec. 21 press conference, referencing the video game industry.
The federal government is stepping in, as well. President Obama last week tasked Vice President Joe Biden with leading an effort to reduce gun violence in the country.
Meanwhile, the online community was up in arms this week over LoHud.com’s publication of a database and map listing legal gun owners in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties.
The map went viral via social media sites, garnering thousands of recommendations and comments in just three days, and loads of backlash against the New York-based news site.
By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag