Battlefield3 features vehicles of all kinds (see full list of Battlefield 3 vehicles), and most vehicle makers are usually happy to see their creations replicated in games, and some receive a licensing fee as well. But not Textron, the owners of aircraft manufacturer Bell, who want EA to remove its aircraft from Battlefield 3. It concerns helicopters such as the AH-1Z Viper and the UH-1Y Huey, both of which are represented in Battlefield 3.
According to Kotaku, EA and Textron were in licensing negotiations late last year, but those negotiations broke down, resulting in EA filing a pre-emptive lawsuit against Textron, citing the First Amendment right and free expression. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that video games are protected under the free speech right, which might help EA’s case.
Usually game makers are required to pay some form of license fee to manufacturers of guns, weapons and military vehicles that appear in video games, but EA was unable to reach such an agreement with Textron. The outcome of this case might have broad implications for future games, and whether game makers can freely use and recreate weapons and vehicles in future titles.