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Gun licenses for game

Hello everyone,

I wanted to add some modern weapons to my game but it seems if I want to sell it I might have problems with it’s owners. For example if I write the original name of let’s say G36C and the model is the same as the real one, the developers of the gun can judje (not sure if it’s spelled this way) me. So I was wondering to what alternative I can come? Can I buy licenses and use real names and characteristics? If not can I create the game with different names and release a mod that changes them?

Take a look at this thread: Weapon Licensing issue? - Epic Games Forums You can find some useful information there :slight_smile:

Thanks for the quick reply,

but I read the whole post and all I learned from it is…

Basicly if I change the name of the gun and don’t put the logo or name of the companie I can use it?

It’s pretty hard to give you a proper answer, because it’s a complicated topic (countries have different laws,…). You can search on google for more answers, but the best would be when you either get a answer from a lawyer or when you talk to one :slight_smile:

OK here is the issue as to Brand name licensing. It does not matter if you think your are right and can prove they are wrong as in most cases trademark infringement is managed by a special interest group who are “paid” to go after anyone on the radar who they feel are infringing.

The are like cops who’s “only” job is to enforce the law and no mater how innocent you are your still going to jail.

If this “special interest” group decides to make it an issue they will even knowing they have no rights at all and more than a few artists have been stung using the very content and assets they own.

As for laws and rights there are no laws and rights when it comes to civil law as it comes down to who has the best story in a court of law.

Best advice is to avoided brand recognition period and make up some fake name like Epic Armories 1911. :wink:

This of course only if Epic agrees to allow you to use their brand name in this manner. :wink:

You could always go the GTA car route where they just combine 2 or 3 cars into one from various brands.

If I’m not mistaken EA has gotten away by simply adding small minute details to the guns. (But I think I heard they were being taken to court over it regardless, so I wouldn’t recommend it.)

Probably due to them being a large company and the games they were being used for were making millions. That’s not to say that they wouldn’t be able to sue you for using their gun names. I would simply use a similar name as some people have mentioned in this thread that users should be able to make a connection to a real gun from (See Counter Strike’s gun naming conventions)

Yeah, I thought of changing a little bit of the design, and the name, but if it’s going to be a simulator, I want it to be as realistic as possible. I sent email to H&K to ask them but didn’t get respond from them.

So maybe if I name my G36C to say G37C, change a little bit of the design it won’t be a problem?

Also if you know the game Infestation Survival Stories (former WarZ) they use real names for the guns, and they are small indie IMO, I doubt they bought licenses for every gun?

Bad idea unless you talk to a lawyer, guns have a bunch of variation is patents and trademarks, some gun designers are owned by governments which can make them okay to use, it’s really a gun by gun thing though.

I play Airsoft. Here’s what I know about this with Airsoft guns. The Airsoft industry manufactures full metal replicas (as well as original reinforced plastic like the G36) of every imaginable gun type. Only the ones that have original trade mark logos and names on the gun and packaging need a license from the original manufacturer. Most Airsoft guns do not have the manufacturers trades on them but the actual gun build can be legally replicated. I would think this should transfer to games. Remember, you can’t copyright a name but you can copyright a trademark. So using the name of the gun as a menu selection should not be a problem either.

Agreed. Regardless the case will no doubt set precedent for future inquiries regarding this.

Counter-Strike uses almost real names, like H&K USP, they just name it USP.

Yet again, that indie OP Productions, they use G36, SCAR-H, IMI Tar, AUG names in the game for their guns, still I don’t know if they bought licenses…

Ok here is an article on EA and guns :slight_smile:

Well this still doesn’t answer the question if I can just change the design and don’t use H&K logo…

Also EA doesn’t have a problem with money if they are judjed! :smiley:

Under the law of common sense sure change the design a bit and don’t use brand names your good to go.

On the other hand if your game goes “Angry Birds” and you make a ton of bucks every nut job on the planet seems to come out of the wood work for their piece of the action.

My thinking is they went after EA thinking they would get a hand out just to make them go away and EA is countering just for the free advertising.

Thanks, that is what I wanted to hear! :slight_smile:

@FrankieV
So as I said earlier, if my G36C is different from the original, and I use G37C for it’s name there won’t be a problem right?

If you really have concerns consult a lawyer and if you are really really concerned don’t make a video game. :slight_smile:

In general one can not copyright common words or numbers as a trademark, even though Apple would have you believe other wise, and unless your game makes a ton of bucks it’s doubtful a big name brand will go after you as they are not out to shut you down as a competitor but are looking for the easy money.

As an opinion I don’t see anyone going after you for a weapon called a G37C no more than someone would go after you for calling a sidearm a 1911.

Looking at the big picture though if your game goes top shelf, more then likely, your game will become the target scammers looking to make a few backs, to make them go away, by trying to trick you into believing you own them something.

Overall though if you avoided name brands you would be compliance neutral and anything beyond that would be some nut job looking to make a few bucks or EA using the “opportunity” for a million dollars worth of free advertising.

I see…

So I should really consult a lawyer for his I guess. Or if I go to another way, making similar guns but naming them like 9mm Pistol. Also I don’t want to make millions of it. I just wanna put it on steam for a small price like 10 - 15 bucks. So either I should choose to name them like 9mm Pisol, or come up with my own custom designs and names I guess…

I had some issues with Kalashnikov years ago after making a gun modelled on the AK47 and calling it a “Kalashnikov” ! They wanted royalties for any money that would be made. So I renamed it and told them where to go :wink: