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Secret Call Of Duty deal reveals ACR gun was actually product placement

Secret Call Of Duty deal reveals ACR  gun was actually product placement
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered – 14 years later and this game’s still proving controversial (Picture: Activision)

A Sandy Hook lawsuit has uncovered a confidential deal between Call Of Duty maker Activision and a gun manufacturer.

When the topic of Call Of Duty controversies is brought up, it tends to bbe whatever new change or addition a portion of the fanbase is upset about, such as the removal of a fan favourite map or a ‘pay-to-win’ bundle .

Sometimes, however, Call Of Duty draws ire from those outside of the community. Perhaps the most famous example is the original Modern Warfare 2 ’s No Russian mission, where the player can participate in an airport mass shooting (something clearly made to be controversial and get people talking about it).

Speaking of Modern Warfare 2, a lawsuit between now defunct American weapons manufacturer Remington Arms and parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings has unveiled details about a secret deal between Remington and Activision to include a real gun in the game for marketing purposes.

For some context, Remington was the company that made the AR-15 rifle used by the Sandy Hook killer and, last year, it paid $73 million (under £60 million) in a settlement with the parents.

Documents from Remington, which were obtained by the lawyer in that case, have since been disclosed and, according to The Wall Street Journal , include confidential information about the inclusion of the Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) in Modern Warfare 2.

A deal between Remington and Activision was signed in 2009 (the year of Modern Warfare 2’s launch) although curiously no money was exchanged. Remington’s goal was to sell civilian and military versions of the gun and clearly saw Call Of Duty as an optimal way to promote it.

The ACR apparently proved popular in-game, with Activision bringing it back for Call Of Duty Online and this year’s Modern Warfare 3 .

‘The reason the guys love it is because of its ‘low recoil’ in the game, which allows the player to maintain target acquisition,’ Remington’s then vice president of product management for firearms John C. Trull told fellow executives in an email.

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Ironically, the plan didn’t work. The real-world gun sold poorly, suffered from a design flaw that led to recalls, and was eventually discontinued. In an interview, Trull admitted its in-game popularity ‘was essentially the only positive thing anyone had to say about the ACR.’

The debate over whether video games cause real-world violence is one that’s lasted for years, long before Call Of Duty was a thing, but this also raises the question of whether games should be able to promote actual weaponry to its players, just like any other product.

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