The lights are on
As we near E3 and the possible reveal of Battlefield 4 multiplayer, EA has stated that it won't be repeating a past public relations mistake. According to an interview with Reuters, the publisher will not be licensing trademarks from gun manufacturers.
For those concerned about a diminished experience with Battlefield 4, EA has provided assurances that nothing will change. According to an EA spokesperson, "Medal of Honor: Warfighter was the only EA game that used licensed gun images. There are currently no titles in development on the Medal of Honor franchise. No other franchise is impacted in any way."
The difference between guns in Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Battlefield is the use of brands. The latter features the likeness of a number of different weapons, but does not attribute any to a specific maker. The 1911 type handgun for example, is made by a number of manufacturers. Using the image of that style of weapon does not require a license (and never has).
However, in Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Vickers Tactical created a 1911 specifically for EA. In the multiplayer mode, in which the weapon appears, the firearm is labeled in menus and loadouts as "Vickers 1911."
It is unlikely that firearm manufacturers will object, but another segment of the defense industry has taken issue with EA's approach. Bell Helicopter has sued the publisher stating that their aircraft featured in Battlefield 3 constitutes trademark infringement. EA has counter-sued to settle. That trial is scheduled for next month.