Guess why. Not because it’s ridiculous on its face to advertise to kids who play video games — obviously not, when the average gamer is 35 and has played games for 13 years.
When it was announced that Electronic Arts would be partnering with gun companies for the latest outing of their Medal of Honor franchise, the vast majority of those following along let out a collective sigh. “Great,” people said to each other, “Another reason to blame video games for gun violence.” EA has finally agreed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and pulled the links to gun retailers from the Medal of Honor: Warfighter site. All it took was a national tragedy for them to realize their mistake.
The game industry is already getting ridiculous amounts of flak where, despite scientific evidence that there’s no real correlation, the industry is getting the blame for all the violent crime and mass-shootings. Putting gun links on a site for a game series that prides itself on its gun realism is terribly gauche and hands the industry critics… um, ammo… to push their blame-anything-but-the-guns-themselves narrative. They took the links down because of Sandy Hook, and because they’d have gotten lots more bad publicity for their stupid own-goal move than they might have been able to weather.
According to BBC News, a representative for Electronic Arts said, “We felt it was inappropriate and took the links down.” The fact that it wasn’t inappropriate when they first partnered with the gun companies is more concerning than the fact that they realized keeping the links would be a PR nightmare.
Fully agreed. A little awareness about public image might be nice, EA. A little awareness about how much political scapegoating is going on might help. Don’t wait til people are reacting to the ill-advised campaign — get out in front of it.