EA has ceased the promotion of its charity fundraiser 'Project Honor', after public outcry over its decision to advocate the sale of actual weapons featured in the game Medal of Honour. All for a good cause, you understand, right?
The publisher joined forces with a number of weapons manufacturers this year for the launch of Project Honor, an initiative intended to "benefit the families of fallen special operations warriors".
Various "esteemed" arms makers not only had their weaponry featured in the game, but agreed to produce exclusive Medal of Honour-themed merchandise, with all proceeds from sales heading to various war-related charities.
Beyond the gaming community, voices were inevitably raised questioning the morals of a producer of violent videogames teaming up to flog branded armament maker merchandise to the very people that play them.
Following numerous complaints, EA has removed all links and advertising regarding Project Honor from the game's website, which had last week promoted the sale of a 'Voodoo Hawk' tomahawk.
Despite understanding concerns, the publisher continued to defend its charitable project.
"We've been working with those partners because we wanted to be authentic, and we wanted to give back to the communities." said EA's Greg Goodrich in an interview with Eurogamer.
"Every one of those partners, none of them paid a dime for product placement – all the money generated went to Project Honor."
The executive producer went on to claim the publisher's videogames were experiences rather than teaching tools and insisted there was no connection between violent videogames and real-life outbursts.
"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."
Earlier this year, studies showed gamers who play shooting games have improved accuracy when firing a weapon in real life. Hmmm. ®