An incredible report published this week in The Wall Street Journal accuses Remington and Activision of striking a deal to promote guns in the latter company’s highly successful games like Call of Duty.
More than a decade ago, Remington ‘s mother company Freedom Group, which recently went bankrupt, struck a deal with the publishers of Call of Duty and other games to market guns to younger audiences.
According to the report, Freedom Group signed a contract with Activision Blizzard to include their Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) in the successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, one of the best-selling games of 2009.
Curiously enough, the deal did not involve a money exchange and, according to Gizmodo, “who got what from the deal was kept confidential.”
Remington’s ACR was however showcased in Modern Warfare 2 (depicted in the above photo), and, even years later, in 2012, was included in Call of Duty Online.
The details of the Remington Call of Duty promotion come from documents obtained in a lawsuit by the parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims. Last year, the parents received a $73 million settlement from Remington.
As WSJ noted in the documents, Remington was extremely involved in marketing to children, and “win our fair-share of these young consumers,” and “create brand preference among the next generation.”
Gizmodo also underlined why Remington chose Call of Duty as a way to promote guns, saying that even in 2023, the developers of the new CoD games confirmed the ACR gun is returning.
In their marketing materials, Remington said that, with “urbanization and access to shooting/hunting areas in decline, a primary means for young potential shooters to come into contact with firearms and ammunition is through virtual gaming scenarios.”
This Friday, Activision Blizzard was bought by Microsoft for $69 billion. As of writing, none of the companies issued a statement to the press.