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EA Cuts Ties With Gun Manufacturers

No official link between gun creators and publisher, but EA shooters to include real guns.

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Electronic Arts will still publish video games with guns in them, but it has severed official ties to gun manufacturers, Reuters reports.

The move comes during a national conversation about the role of guns, ideas to alter gun policy, and the role of guns in our media, video games or otherwise.

According to the publisher, it will still include “branded” guns in its games where appropriate, and doing so is protected by its right to free speech. That is yet to be legally tested.

Vice President Joe Biden met with leaders in the gaming industry in the weeks after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, which included now departed EA CEO John Riccitiello.

EA is scheduled to release Battlefield 4 later this year. Another Medal of Honor game is not expected for some time, as the franchise was put “on hold” after Medal of Honor: Warfighter disappointed critically and commercially. It’s also partnered with Respawn Entertainment, a studio filled with ex-Call of Duty developers, for its next project, which I’m told is a sci-fi shooter.

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142 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for fitzcarraldo
Posted By fitzcarraldo

@greggd said:

@ddensel said:

Kinda weird how companies can use the names of guns under freedom of speech, but can't use the names of cars and such. Some weapons are identifiable as a brand, just the same way as Mustangs and Corvettes are.

EA better be prepared to make some names up like the Goldeneye days of "KF7 Soviet" and "Klobb"

The Klobb exists. I refuse to believe otherwise.

man the klobb sucks so hard. i would rather slappers only than use the klobb

Avatar image for mordeaniischaos
Edited By MordeaniisChaos
@adam1808 said:

@vindo said:

@darkstorn: As a former CoD player and current Battlefield player I will tell you that I get a lot of satisfaction from using real guns in those video games.

I have a gun collection and it is really nice to use one that I own in a video game. I don't mind if it is there under it's military name though.

You know enjoying using guns you personally own in a videogame to shoot people in the face may come off as a tad unsettling.

So you're saying that people who play violent games are violent people? Nice one, asshole.

(sarcasm, don't throw a fit)

This also isn't that huge of a change. They'll probably just use military designation and military weapons, which aren't the same as the commercial versions. They often have different features and are named differently (AR-15 vs M16A4, 92FS vs M9, etc) in a military context. I can't imagine there's anything stopping them from representing real service rifles.

It's a bit weird, but it makes sense. Gun manufacturers and advocates have come out to try and pass the buck to violent video games, so I think it's best that EA do this. If you really care what something is freakin' called in a game, you care too much about these things. Just make sure I can get my M16 and some Marpat, call it a Peashooter and a Tactical Pattern, I'll still be happy.

Avatar image for outerabiz
Avatar image for zodstein
Posted By zodstein

As an owner of multiple firearms, I have never played a game and thought "Man I want to buy this gun!!" Shooting guns in games is nowhere near the real thing. I'm also pretty sure I saw the Remington logo on a gun I used in MW3, so it's not exclusive to EA.

Avatar image for o0o0jack_burton0o0o
Posted By o0o0Jack_Burton0o0o

@sooty said:

@o0o0jack_burton0o0o said:

@rollingzeppelin said:

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

Yeah, With gun related homicide down 49% since it's peak in 1993 and gun ownership at an all time high with 41 states now having concealed carry laws, we must be nutjobs. Ironically so many people allow the media to drive their perception of reality that the vast majority like yourself falsely believe that gun homicide and violence has increased.

In fact Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

Keep up the crusade, you sane and level headed individual.

Yet you're still one of the only, if not the only countries with multiple school shootings per year. Just because some aren't as bad as others doesn't mean they don't happen. And they sure do.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to notice that countries with difficult or no access to firearms have hardly any school shootings or more accurately none per year.

Right.

March 13, 1996 Dunblane, Scotland

16 children and one teacher killed at Dunblane Primary School by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. 10 others wounded in attack.

March 1997 Sanaa, Yemen

Eight people (six students and two others) at two schools killed by Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri.

March 2000 Branneburg, Germany

One teacher killed by a 15-year-old student, who then shot himself. The shooter has been in a coma ever since.

Jan. 18, 2001 Jan, Sweden

One student killed by two boys, ages 17 and 19.

Feb. 19, 2002 Freising, Germany

Two killed in Eching by a man at the factory from which he had been fired; he then traveled to Freising and killed the headmaster of the technical school from which he had been expelled. He also wounded another teacher before killing himself.

April 26, 2002 Erfurt, Germany

13 teachers, two students, and one policeman killed, ten wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, at the Johann Gutenberg secondary school. Steinhaeuser then killed himself.

April 29, 2002 Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina

One teacher killed, one wounded by Dragoslav Petkovic, 17, who then killed himself.

Sept. 28, 2004 Carmen de Patagones, ArgentinaThree students killed and 6 wounded by a 15-year-old Argentininan student in a town 620 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Sept. 13, 2006 Montreal, CanadaKimveer Gill, 25, opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at Dawson College. Anastasia De Sousa, 18, died and more than a dozen students and faculty were wounded before Gill killed himself.

Nov. 7, 2007 Tuusula, FinlandAn 18-year-old student in southern Finland shot and killed five boys, two girls, and the female principal at Jokela High School. At least 10 others were injured. The gunman shot himself and died from his wounds in the hospital.

on and on and on. None of them used rifles by the way.

Avatar image for o0o0jack_burton0o0o
Posted By o0o0Jack_Burton0o0o

@greggd said:

@o0o0jack_burton0o0o said:

@greggd said:

@bunnymud: Uh, I'm pretty sure the guy used a semi-auto rifle. Just because it's not fully automatic, doesn't make it less of an assault weapon.

In case you missed the entire point of my reply, it cannot be more or less of an assault weapon because the term "assault weapon" has no meaning or bearing on any firearm and is strictly political propaganda. Any firearm can be used to assault someone. In fact, so can most inanimate objects in the world. Shall we label them all as assault weapons? While this attempt at repeating myself is probably in vein I do hope You now understand the absurdity of your prior statement.

I consider an assault weapon something that can be used to take down several targets with ease. So yes, something like a carbine or semi-auto rifle of any kind, I consider an assault weapon over, say, a box cutter.

I consider it a box cutter that can be used to assault passengers and crew on a plane that can then be flown into a building killing thousands of people instantly. Strange how an abstract word with no real meaning can be interpreted so differently between multiple people. Perhaps that is why it is used so often in political speak to demonize things politicians don't like or understand.

Avatar image for extomar
Posted By EXTomar

Why is EA being a coward (ignoring if corporations can have emotions)? Maybe EA just views it as a risk to try to partner with an industry that repeatedly makes video game violence as a the reason why their product is abused.

Avatar image for sirdiealot
Posted By SirDiealot

Personally I think this is a coward move by EA but what can you expect from a company that can't even put a game out that is full of glitches. If they had any morals they would stand up to the anti-gun trash. Also I don't see how they could use guns in their games and then say they don't support them. Also they should have to pay a royalty to manufactures of firearms if they have them in their games.

Avatar image for sooty
Posted By Sooty

@rollingzeppelin said:

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

Yeah, With gun related homicide down 49% since it's peak in 1993 and gun ownership at an all time high with 41 states now having concealed carry laws, we must be nutjobs. Ironically so many people allow the media to drive their perception of reality that the vast majority like yourself falsely believe that gun homicide and violence has increased.

In fact Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

Keep up the crusade, you sane and level headed individual.

Yet you're still one of the only, if not the only countries with multiple school shootings per year. Just because some aren't as bad as others doesn't mean they don't happen. And they sure do.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to notice that countries with difficult or no access to firearms have hardly any school shootings or more accurately none per year.

Avatar image for jasondesante
Posted By jasondesante

last year EA was selling "medal of honor" branded guns

Avatar image for bizen247
Posted By Bizen247

lol, EA is basically just rolling the dice and hoping they don't get taken to court for not paying a licensing fee, but you guys are eating up the anti-gun (lol) spin like hot shit straight from their hole.

Avatar image for greggd
Edited By GreggD

@ddensel said:

Kinda weird how companies can use the names of guns under freedom of speech, but can't use the names of cars and such. Some weapons are identifiable as a brand, just the same way as Mustangs and Corvettes are.

EA better be prepared to make some names up like the Goldeneye days of "KF7 Soviet" and "Klobb"

The Klobb exists. I refuse to believe otherwise.

Avatar image for ddensel
Posted By ddensel

Kinda weird how companies can use the names of guns under freedom of speech, but can't use the names of cars and such. Some weapons are identifiable as a brand, just the same way as Mustangs and Corvettes are.

EA better be prepared to make some names up like the Goldeneye days of "KF7 Soviet" and "Klobb"

Avatar image for greggd
Posted By GreggD

@greggd said:

@bunnymud: Uh, I'm pretty sure the guy used a semi-auto rifle. Just because it's not fully automatic, doesn't make it less of an assault weapon.

In case you missed the entire point of my reply, it cannot be more or less of an assault weapon because the term "assault weapon" has no meaning or bearing on any firearm and is strictly political propaganda. Any firearm can be used to assault someone. In fact, so can most inanimate objects in the world. Shall we label them all as assault weapons? While this attempt at repeating myself is probably in vein I do hope You now understand the absurdity of your prior statement.

I consider an assault weapon something that can be used to take down several targets with ease. So yes, something like a carbine or semi-auto rifle of any kind, I consider an assault weapon over, say, a box cutter.

Avatar image for terrorbite
Posted By Terrorbite

I'm probably just a horrible person, but I really don't give two shits about gun companies or if EA is involved with them, I doubt that EA being linked to gun companies would make the world any amount more dangerous, and I doubt gun companies are really conspiring to give guns to our kids so they can kill each other. So in the end, if Battlefield 4 looks cool, I'll play it, I really liked and still like Battlefield 3, and hell even if the new Metal of Honor looks cool I'll play it. I was never really one to care about this side stuff, I just want to play cool new games.

Avatar image for o0o0jack_burton0o0o
Posted By o0o0Jack_Burton0o0o

@greggd said:

@bunnymud: Uh, I'm pretty sure the guy used a semi-auto rifle. Just because it's not fully automatic, doesn't make it less of an assault weapon.

In case you missed the entire point of my reply, it cannot be more or less of an assault weapon because the term "assault weapon" has no meaning or bearing on any firearm and is strictly political propaganda. Any firearm can be used to assault someone. In fact, so can most inanimate objects in the world. Shall we label them all as assault weapons? While this attempt at repeating myself is probably in vein I do hope You now understand the absurdity of your prior statement.

Avatar image for slag
Edited By Slag

What took EA so long?

man of all the things to cross-sell within games, Real Guns was probably the stupidest.

Avatar image for sharkman
Edited By SharkMan

guns are pretty dumb outside of games.

Avatar image for greggd
Edited By GreggD

@rollingzeppelin said:

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

Yeah, With gun related homicide down 49% since it's peak in 1993 and gun ownership at an all time high with 41 states now having concealed carry laws, we must be nutjobs. Ironically so many people allow the media to drive their perception of reality that the vast majority like yourself falsely believe that gun homicide and violence has increased.

In fact Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

Keep up the crusade, you sane and level headed individual.

Your reaction to my comment certainly was level-headed. Even though I never said there was anything wrong with the availability of the gun in question from my previous post. Yes, clearly I was in the wrong.

Avatar image for o0o0jack_burton0o0o
Posted By o0o0Jack_Burton0o0o

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

Yeah, With gun related homicide down 49% since it's peak in 1993 and gun ownership at an all time high with 41 states now having concealed carry laws, we must be nutjobs. Ironically so many people allow the media to drive their perception of reality that the vast majority like yourself falsely believe that gun homicide and violence has increased.

In fact Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

Keep up the crusade, you sane and level headed individual.

Avatar image for meowshi
Posted By Meowshi

The only reason people buy these games is to feel like they're actually using real weapons and experiencing semi-realistic combat.

And how the hell can you make a game that glorified gunplay, and then act as though you're offended by it? Cutting off gun manufactures doesn't make your game any less of a gun-loving, murder simulator. I don't get it.

Avatar image for greggd
Edited By GreggD
Avatar image for jasonefmonk
Posted By jasonefmonk

That's poor reasoning. The "conversation about gun control" has nothing to do with soldiers or military operations. These weapons will continue to exist and be used the world over. I'd much rather see real weapons with realistic handling then a bunch of kock-off toys in the future.

Avatar image for squidraid
Posted By squidraid
Avatar image for greggd
Edited By GreggD

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

I know, you make an educated response and everyone's on your case.

Avatar image for rollingzeppelin
Posted By RollingZeppelin

A lot of gun nutjobs up in this thread. I guess this type of news has them coming out of the woodwork.

Avatar image for dvorak
Posted By dvorak

@veiasma said:

@zatoichi_sanjuro said:

Turning cost-cutting into a PR exercise.

Exactly.

Maybe EA actually IS the worst company?

Nope. Well... hmm... okay, still no.

Avatar image for veiasma
Posted By veiasma

Turning cost-cutting into a PR exercise.

Exactly.

Maybe EA actually IS the worst company?

Avatar image for dezztroy
Edited By Dezztroy

@greggd said:

@bunnymud: Uh, I'm pretty sure the guy used a semi-auto rifle. Just because it's not fully automatic, doesn't make it less of an assault weapon.

"Assault weapon" is a political term and has nothing to do with the technical properties of a gun. You could argue that a bolt-action rifle preserved from the 1800s was an assault weapon if you wanted to.

Avatar image for godmil
Posted By Godmil

I quite like this. I only just learned that developers payed gun companies, and living in the UK where there essentially aren't any guns, I have no love for the arms industry. In the last few years I've started making 'ethical purchasing decisions' with games (didn't buy Black Ops 2 - because Oliver North is a douche, or Shadow Complex - because Orson Scott Card is a douche), it's good to know I can still buy some action games without feeling like I'm (directly) funding an industry I don't like.

Avatar image for vargasprime
Edited By VargasPrime

Just another reason for me to never buy another EA product. They are just another politically correct org. trying to make sure the appease all the Socialist losers who want gun control. Of course, with so many gaming "industry" slanted hard to Socialism/Communism it kind of fits.

Well, that's sure to be the most reasoned, mature response to anything that I'll read today.

Avatar image for martin_blank
Edited By Zatoichi_Sanjuro

Turning cost-cutting into a PR exercise.

Avatar image for lucidlife
Posted By Lucidlife

Just another reason for me to never buy another EA product. They are just another politically correct org. trying to make sure the appease all the Socialist losers who want gun control. Of course, with so many gaming "industry" slanted hard to Socialism/Communism it kind of fits.

Avatar image for legion_
Posted By Legion_

I have no problem with gun, or civil rights in general. Too bad EA has no guts.

So you're one of those guys who thinks guns don't kill people?

Avatar image for legion_
Posted By Legion_

@sternone said:

As a laywer, I think its an interesting question whether or not the use of the likenesses of existing, real firearms would be a fair use or a trademark violation. At first glance, this seems like a pretty straightforward situation - EA likely cannot legally use actual trademarked names and likenesses of existing firearms without acquiring licensing rights from the license holders, as in, the gun manufacturers. The logic is exactly the same as to say, a car in a racing game.

Could EA put real cars in NFS or Burnout and do whatever they want with them (including full crash damage or the like) without reaching a licensing agreement with the car manufacturer? As best I can see it, theres no good, consistent legal argument for allowing a license free depiction of one trademarked name/likeness (guns) and disallowing the other (cars).

It's kind of different though. Having the guns in the game means free publicity for the manufacturer. It's not like guns are going to blow up or anything, which is exactly the reason why car manufacturers are more wary of this. They don't want to give the impression that their cars are unsafe. That's the reason for the damage model being so toned down between games like Burnout Paradise and NFS Most Wanted.

Avatar image for gunsaredrawn
Edited By GunsAreDrawn

I think this is probably just because some of the problems Battlefield has had since Bad Company with games. They have had problems with H&K where they couldn't use the real name of the gun, but Call of Duty was able to for whatever reason. Their HK416 was featured heavily in Bad Company but it was renamed M416, and that name still carries on into BF3. Now their MP5 and MP5k have been renamed G53 and M5K. They also had a problem with Bell Helicopters telling EA to cease use of 3 different choppers in that game.

This doesn't really matter at the end of the day, for mainstream shooters atleast. Neither Call of Duty or Battlefield put effort into authenticity. In CoD4 we had the SAS running around using American Weapons (M4A1, M9, M1911, etc). In Battlefield there were guns being reloaded in a way that wouldn't actually be carried out in the field (pulling the charging handle).

With that said, was there really any point in them doing this when the guns in games aren't always representative of their real life counterparts?

It's kind of a shame that they don't make developers have accurate depictions of their guns throughout every game. It would be really cool to see the guns act the same way in loads of different games instead of the amount of differentiation going on. Sometimes they look nothing like eachother and other times the fire rate is entirely different, it gets to the point where it just feels like developers didn't bother researching things.

Avatar image for fisk0
Edited By fisk0

@fisk0 said:

Would military shooter enthusiasts really lose their shit if EA would go the Ridge Racer route and make realistic looking modern guns that aren't directly based off of real life models?

I can't say I would care even if something like ARMA would go that route, since as long as the guns seem to behave realistically, the authenticity in the brands used isn't what something like ARMA is about, but the tactical side of it all. Most of these shooters have made up locations anyway, wouldn't be a stretch that those made up countries have made up gun manufacturers of their own?

I think ALOT of people who play ARMA seriously would care quite a bit. That's like saying that flight sim games should start just making up fake planes. One of the big draws for these types of games is authenticity.

But all the ARMA and Operation Flashpoint games take place in fictional countries, I don't get how we can be all OK with that, but if there's a fictional gun manufacturer around then the authenticity is gone.

And hell, there was a time in the 80's and 90's when there were plenty of modern military flight sims with fictional or rumored air planes, since there was at the time, and probably still is, always some secret project going on.

Stuff like F-19 Stealth Fighter, F-29 Retaliator, LHX Attack Chopper, ATF II, and for that matter, Microsoft Flight Simulator 4.0 made a huge deal about how you could create your own aircraft and experiment with making something that could be capable of actually flying. And most of them featured actual countries in then present day likely conflict zones. They weren't the DCS of their time, but I'd say a fair comparison could be made to Call of Duty or Battlefield in terms of "authenticity".

Moderator
Avatar image for o0o0jack_burton0o0o
Edited By o0o0Jack_Burton0o0o

@greggd: Assault weapon is just a meaningless buzz word. It is a fuzzy and rather pointless category that falsely implies something is too dangerous to be sold to civliians A Ruger ranch mini-14 does the same thing that an AR-15 does. The AR-15 is called an assault weapon an the Ruger ranch mini-14 is called a varmint rifle. 'Assault weapon' was developed because to the ignorant, it SOUNDS like Assault Rifle which is a military designation for a select fire weapon. The confusion was intentional.

No truer words have been written. The level of ignorance displayed by many in this thread is saddening. If you were to ask any of these dunces what an assault rifle is they couldn't tell you. They have no clue that it is just a political buzz word that is effectively used to successfully manipulate their ignorance.

What separates the two weapons you described is purely cosmetic. The AR 15 has a pistol grip and the Mini 14 does not. There is zero difference in the lethality or functionality of either firearm. Yet these fools think they would achieve something by banning an ergonomic preference of some gun owners.

Also, for the record, all you nitwits in this thread that think the NRA is run by gun manufacturers have no idea as to what you are talking about. 97% of the NRA's funding comes from it's members dues and private donations that are not tax deductible. The gun laws failed because they would not have stopped the sandy hook shooting or kept mad men from their madness which is the true cause of that tragedy. The people of the red states would have thrown out their representatives had they voted for the new gun laws as was proven by the five democrats from red states that voted against it.

Semiautomatic rifles account for less than two percent of gun crimes and yet receive nearly 100% of the attention. ASSAULT! sure does get the liberal juices flowing. While were at it, the only way to stop rape would be to cut off all men's genitals. It doesn't really matter if the vast majority of men don't rape women or that there is more than one legitimate use for their genitals. We all know that the solution is to label them assault genitals and ban them.

Avatar image for extomar
Posted By EXTomar

Personally I feel this modern "drive for realism" is misplaced in a lot of games. Of course ARMA and those games want as many real world analogues as they can get away with but something like Bulletstorm? In particular Bulletstorm was helped by being unrealistic.

For a lot of games under EA they'll be fine. The flip side to the argument is wondering if CoD: Ghost is better/worse/different with officially licensed support? Probably not because they are doing the same ludicrous campaign and MP game anyway.

Avatar image for n2nother
Posted By N2NOther

From the original article:

"We're telling a story and we have a point of view," EA's President of Labels Frank Gibeau, who leads product development of EA's biggest franchises, said in an interview. "A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' for example."

By this "logic" game makers should be able to use people's names and likenesses, cars, books, branded food and so on. This won't work out well.

Avatar image for brodehouse
Posted By Brodehouse

There is literally nothing to be gained by having the names of real guns in your video game.

There is as much to be gained as having the names of real countries, or companies.

Avatar image for thelegendofmart
Posted By TheLegendOfMart

@sternone said:

As a laywer, I think its an interesting question whether or not the use of the likenesses of existing, real firearms would be a fair use or a trademark violation. At first glance, this seems like a pretty straightforward situation - EA likely cannot legally use actual trademarked names and likenesses of existing firearms without acquiring licensing rights from the license holders, as in, the gun manufacturers. The logic is exactly the same as to say, a car in a racing game.

Could EA put real cars in NFS or Burnout and do whatever they want with them (including full crash damage or the like) without reaching a licensing agreement with the car manufacturer? As best I can see it, theres no good, consistent legal argument for allowing a license free depiction of one trademarked name/likeness (guns) and disallowing the other (cars).

Yet TV shows and Films don't have to do this, they can feature buildings, products and cars in their films without having to pay for them, in some cases companies pay the film/tv show to feature their products.

Why is it different for games?

Avatar image for scientificpizza
Edited By ScientificPizza

There is literally nothing to be gained by having the names of real guns in your video game.

Avatar image for parsnip
Edited By Parsnip

Maybe it's just me, but I find it weird when anyone uses the word "departed" and doesn't mean it as a synonym for deceased.

Avatar image for sanity
Edited By Sanity

EA is retarded, cant see them getting away with this, there just going to burn there bridges with gun manufactures and then they will take a beating next time they want to license something.

Avatar image for palaeomerus
Edited By Palaeomerus

@greggd: Assault weapon is just a meaningless buzz word. It is a fuzzy and rather pointless category that falsely implies something is too dangerous to be sold to civliians A Ruger ranch mini-14 does the same thing that an AR-15 does. The AR-15 is called an assault weapon an the Ruger ranch mini-14 is called a varmint rifle. 'Assault weapon' was developed because to the ignorant, it SOUNDS like Assault Rifle which is a military designation for a select fire weapon. The confusion was intentional.

Avatar image for legendarychopchop
Edited By LegendaryChopChop

@fiercedeity: True, but ARMA's the exception, not the rule.

ARMA may be for gun nuts, but I'd argue that CoD and Battlefield players don't really care about realistic gun models and firing simulations.

I'm no gun nut, not by any means whatsoever. I don't have a gun, nor do I ever plan to get one, but I always thought it was pretty cool for shooters to have real guns if it's supposed to depict a real-life scenario, or something very realistic that COD and Battlefield try to portray. I always appreciated the authenticity.