A young gamer plays a Call of Duty game on a laptop.

Activision Blizzard Reportedly Once Partnered With Remington Arms To Market Guns To Kids

A growing concern from Remington’s parent company that kids these days don’t have enough IRL gun exposure has led to increased efforts to insert real-life guns into popular video games.

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Remington Arms is owned by Remington Outdoors, formerly known as Freedom Group. It’s been revealed that Freedom Group has worked with Activision to promote at least one of its guns, the Active Combat Rifle, in popular first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In 2009, the two companies reportedly signed a secret contract agreeing to continue putting real-life Remington guns in Activision games. The goal of the guns’ inclusion in the game was to reach a previously untapped market: children.

Details about the contract were uncovered during the discovery phase of the Sandy Hook parent/Remington Arms lawsuit, wherein the parents of children killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre sued the company because the shooter used a Remington AR-15. Remington settled for $73 million.

A motivating factor behind Remington’s product placement campaign in Activision games was to engender interest and “brand preference” among kids and teens in Remington weapons. The brand also stated in an internal memo that it was focused on exposing kids in urban areas to guns due to decreased access. From the Freedom Group internal memo (via a Wall Street Journal report):

“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.”

Another memo stated that the company was avoiding “direct endorsement” as a precaution against the “implications” of the campaign. Just what kind of “implications” the company feared, the memo did not say.

It’s an open secret that the United States military has been using video games for years as propaganda directed at kids and teens, but the addition of Remington’s real-world products into games to try and bring children into the gun market takes things to a whole new level. (No pun intended.) Shedding light on the dark intentions of the firearm industry is, hopefully, a step in the right direction.

(featured image: Chesnot/Getty Images)

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Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.