Skip to main content

Call of Duty reportedly signed a deal with gun maker Remington to include weapon

To “help create brand preference among the next generation”
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

According to a report by WSJ, gun maker Remington Arms signed a previously undisclosed deal with Activision Blizzard to put one of its weapons into the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from 2009. This report is based on documents from Remington and Freedom Company ranging from the 2000s to the early 2010s that were obtained and disclosed by a lawyer involved in the lawsuit against the company filed by parents of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, which was perpetrated using a Remington AR-15.

It’s always been an open secret that developers behind popular shooter games like Call of Duty have relations with both gun makers and the US military that help them make their games more authentic, but this is a rare look at the insides of such a cooperation.

Going by the documents, Remington back then initiated this partnership to “help create brand preference among the next generation” and help the company “win our fair-share of these young consumers” in the long run.

Call of Duty ACR screenshot.

The ACR in a newer Call of Duty: Modern Warfare title.

Its “Gaming Strategy,” as one memo calls it, postulated: “With increasing 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.”

Hence Remington signed a contract with Activision Blizzard to put its ACR – Adaptive Combat Rifle – into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Both parties kept silent about this agreement and apparently no money was involved.

For the gun maker, this coup was a great success – at least at first. The documents contain several anecdotes about executives being happy with the outcome of the partnership, WSJ reported. One of them is quoted as saying: “It’s amazing how a game can sell a real world product attribute.”

The strategy seemed to work fine, but didn’t translate into a boost of sales for the ACR after all, which was discontinued after a few years.

I still distinctly remember the ACR as being my favorite weapon in the game back in the day, so it’s been a surprise to find out about how it came to be in there in the first place – and perhaps now we know why it’s been so strong.

Activision Blizzard was acquired by Microsoft on October 13, 2023, with CEO Bobby Kotick, who was at the company’s helm at the time the Remington deal was signed, set to leave at the end of 2023.