Bringing Closure to EA’s Brass Knuckles Episode

Recently, GamePolitics broke the news that a press kit for Electronic Arts’ The Godfather II included, among other items, a set of brass knuckles.

As we pointed out, possession of brass knuckles is illegal in Pennsylvania where GP HQ is located. Kotaku subsequently noted that they are illegal in its Colorado home base, as well. As it turns out, brass knuckles are considered a prohibited weapon in a number of states.

A few days later, in a carefully-worded phone call, an EA rep advised us that the publisher would send a pre-paid shipping envelope in which we could return the brass knuckles. Not long after, a FedEx mailer arrived with an unsigned note on plain white paper:



Pursuant to EA’s phone call to you, please use the enclosed mailer for return of the brass curio item.


Thank you.

FedEx picked up the "brass curio item" from GP HQ on Friday, thus bringing to a close what has to rank as one of the biggest public relations gaffes in the history of the video game biz.

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  1. 0
    Moriarty70 says:

    I don’t blame them for not checking. Knuckle Dusters are probably considered, by the average person, an archaic weapon. It really is more of a thing to have for the sake of having.

    "Well, I can own a gun, why not a full fist of rings?"

  2. 0
    King of Fiji says:

    I’d call the whole fiasco Pepsi did as a giveaway of tickets for a baseball game in New York sa a bad PR fiasco.

    This is simply not looking up whats legal to ship. xD

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    I wouldn’t call this one of the biggest PR fiascos.  Nobody who doesn’t follow gaming media will know about this, and really, not even a lot of them do.  This has nowhere near the exposure of something like Hot Coffee, or the Mass Effect = (Se)Xbox nonsense.

    Granted, this is a major legal blunder, but its PR impact seems pretty negligible.

  4. 0
    sirdarkat says:

     I find it amusing that brass knuckles are illegal but many other weapons I would consider far more dangerous are perfectly legal.


    But yes EA should have checked to see if they can legally send those out though you might be able to argue they are a curio and therefore you are legal to have them =).

  5. 0
    Kris says:

    I still think it’s way wierd that the PR deparment didn’t think that sending out actual WEAPONS would be a problem.  Or that they didn’t bother to look into the legality of them.  Especially since they’re also illegal in California.  If you’re going to be mailing the things out, you at least ought to see if they’re illegal in your own damn state.

    Should have shipped glass knuckles.  I hear those are A-OK.

  6. 0
    Freek says:

    Not really a fiasco, just bad taste.

    They should have gone all the way and planted horses heads in every editors bed. That would have been a stunt, this is not really a stunt.

  7. 0
    tollwutig says:

     NAh it would have been a BIGGER PR fiasco if they had included them the Game’s Box with the disk.  OF course then JT would have gotten his dearest wish in that Police would actually be able to arrest gamers as they are coming out of the store with the game in hand.

  8. 0
    Charax says:

    This doesn’t exactly bring closure to the fact that EA have now asked you to break the law by shipping a weapon across state lines though, has it?

    It’s rather arrogant to simply state that their sending you the pre-paid envelope brings a close to the matter when there are many unanswered questions left.

  9. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    I wouldn’t have given it back.  It’s obviously a curio piece, which means that you can still legally own it.  As long as you keep the whole set together, you should be fine.  What about the piano wire, eh?  Get some surgical tubing so it doesn’t cut into their hands and you’ve got a cheap garrote.  And what about that cigar?  No this whole thing is weird, but there’s no reason that you have to send the brass knuckles back.

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