After several editorials called Electronic Arts out for including links to real world weapons to promote the new Medal of Honor game, the company has decided to discontinue the practice. The real down-side to this news is that the money generated from those real-world weapon sales was going directly to the charity Project Honor.
The editorials on Gameological and Eurogamer complained about ads and blog posts on the game's website that linked to 'sponsors' selling weapons and equipment featured in Medal of Honor such as a custom-built Tomahawk and a tactical sniper rifle kit. Videos of executive producer Greg Goodrich testing various items including silencers, muzzle brakes and clothing were also linked in blog posts.
After much pressure, Goodrich said that the links had been removed, but he lamented the impact to their charitable endeavor.
"The Voodoo Tomahawk has since been removed from our website because of the article [on Eurogamer]," said Goodrich. "That was an effort to raise a lot of money for charity, and we were well on our way to raising a lot of money with that tomahawk, but I don't know what will happen with that now," he added. "That whole effort, we've been working with those partners because we wanted to be authentic, and we wanted to give back to the communities. Every one of those partners, none of them paid a dime for product placement – all the money generated went to Project Honor."
Goodrich went on to say the he was surprised with the gaming press's response to the items given that most would agree that there is a disconnect between playing video games and real-world actions.
"It's an experience, and it's a video game, and they're going on that journey and learning about these group of people," he said. "It doesn't mean that they have any less respect for these. Maybe it's a cultural thing. If I played Need for Speed, and I'm handed the key to a Porsche, does that make me want to get in it and drive like a maniac and run people over? No, I played a game, and now I'm driving a car in real life but I'm not going to go crazy with it because I played a video game. In a first-person shooter we're not teaching someone how to shoot better or be a better operator just by playing a game. It doesn't compute, just like when I play John Madden football I can't expect win the Super Bowl just because I played a video game."