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In some computer games and RPGs, you get real guns with fake names. They have the appearance and the characteristics of the real gun, but not the name.
The reason appears to be avoiding potential lawsuits from the manufacturers of said firearms; it's a lot easier to prove a trademark infringement over a name than over the unique likeness of a weapon, and many companies haven't trademarked the latter anyway. There's also the issue of editorial control; much as car companies used to dictate that vehicles in videogames could not be shown crashing or being damaged (they just hit things and stopped), gun companies could potentially demand their weapons only be shown in certain situations as a requirement for inclusion of their trademarks. Oddly, often happens even with guns old enough that trademark issues wouldn't be relevant.
A subtrope of Bland-Name Product. Compare Improperly Placed Firearms. Often avoided by setting games in World War II, since most trademarks associated with weapon names from that period have long since lapsed.
- In Devil May Cry, the grenade launcher resembles the Milkor MGL, while the third game's "Spiral" is actually a Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle.
- Counter-Strike for (almost) every gun; the real names can be found if you look at the console, though. Also, there's a patch that replaces the fake names with the actual names; the "Maverick Carbine", for example, becomes the "Colt M4A1". Interestingly enough, the real names were used in the Half-Life mod version, but not the retail stand-alone product. Probably a key difference is that the Half-Life mod was free, but the retail Counter-Strike wasn't.
- Golden Eye 1997 (and most other James Bond games for that matter) have this; example: "RC-P90" for the FN Herstal P90.
- In all of the EA 007 games they used fake names that were ridiculously close to the real ones, like "Koffler & Stock" (for Heckler & Koch) or "Wolfram P2K" (for Walther PPK or P99). They also called the Desert Eagle an "IAC Defender".
- Averted in Everything or Nothing, as all the guns have their real names (i.e. P99 instead of P2K).
- Interesting variation in Quantum of Solace: While the Walther guns and the M14 are referred to by their actual names, a good deal of the rest are named in the form of Continuity Nods to previous Bond films. The Glocks are the GF17/GF18, the M1911 is the CR1911, and the AKS-74U is the FRWL. More here.
- Golden Eye Wii kinda zigzags with this trope; the P99 and WA 2000 (both made by Walther, who apparently has some sort of endorsement deal with the Bond films), as well as the AK-47, are all called by their real names, but every single other gun has an extremely contrived-sounding fake name (for example, the SCAR-H is called the "Kallos-TT9", and the M4 is the "Terralite III").
- GoldenEye's Spiritual Successor Perfect Dark avoided this by using made-up weapons from the future, but one Cheat Code let you use weapons from GoldenEye that had had their names changed again for legal reasons. It got a bit confusing.
- Soldier of Fortune used lots of obvious real-world guns that were given either flatly descriptive names (such as calling what is clearly a SPAS-12 simply the shotgun) or fake ones, such as "Silver Talon" in lieu of Desert Eagle...
- Soldier of Fortune 2 featured real-life gun names, but the Gold Edition brought back favorites like 1's 'Silver Talon'.
- Soldier of Fortune: Payback uses both real and fake names for its guns. For example, the M16 is referred to as such, but the SCAR-L is given a fictional name.
- The Time Splitters series uses both AKA 47 names and real gun names in about equal measure. You can shoot someone with a Luger pistol in Timesplitters 2, but the AK-47 is referred to as the "Soviet S-47". In Future Perfect, they drop the real names—the Lugers are Krugers, and the S-47 is the Soviet Rifle. Most of the weapons have generic names—Shotgun, Pistol 9mm, etc.
- STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl has a variety of weapons, ranging from semi-antique to state-of-the-art, which are given obscure alternate names, though they exist in real life (for the most part). Examples: the AK-74 becomes the "Akm 74/2", the AKS-74U is the "Akm 74/2U", the AN-94 Abakan is the "Obokan", the Franchi SPAS12 is the "SPSA14", and so on.
- Curiously inverted at times in Black - while all the gun names are real, many of the models are modified.
- No One Lives Forever uses this, with the exception of M79 grenade launcher and AK-47. What's most puzzling, the Dragunov Sniper Rifle is referred to as "Geldmacher SVD", while "SVD" only would suffice (like in the "Klobb" case for GoldenEye, it was named after a dev team member). Same goes for the sequel.
- Far Cry 2 plays with this. It mostly gives its weapons real names (with the exception of a .50 pistol that's quite obviously a Desert Eagle), but the manufacturer names are generally not the real-life makers of each gun. Some are marked as having been made by "Precision Armaments", a corporation known for making cheap knock-offs.
- Zig-zagged by the Left 4 Dead franchise. The first of the series uses vague and ambiguous names for all its weapons, such as "Hunting Rifle" and "Auto Shotgun", even though they clearly are modeled after real-life firearms. The second game and DLC introduces a few correctly named guns, but still insists on using nondescriptive names for the others.
- Brink has some guns that are obvious expies of real weapons. For example, the Colt M1911 is renamed 'Kalt', Steyr TMP is 'Tampa', and Knight's Armament ChainSAW is 'Chinzor'. Others have names based after real weapons, but more closely resemble other guns. The 'FRKN-3K' appears to be named after the FN-2000, but more closely resembles the FAMAS, while the 'Sea Eagle' is named after the Desert Eagle, but modeled on the Smith & Wesson Sigma auto-pistol. Others have pun-based names, like the SIG AR 'Rhett'. Some reference pop culture, like a revolver named 'Ritchie' after Revolver's director, Guy Ritchie. The others reference the inventors of their real-world counterparts or features of their design, like Eustace Stoner's Armalite AR-15 named 'Euston', and a gatling gun named 'Gottlung'.
- Done in the "Ballistic Weapons" mod for Unreal Tournament 2004: the occasional real-world firearm is in the mod, under a name that may or may not be similar to its actual name—an M4 with grenade launcher named the "M50", for example.
- A form in the Rainbow Six games—while the weapons' model names/numbers are kept, references to their manufacturers are removed (with the exception of some logos on the guns themselves).
- Several of F.E.A.R.'s guns are renamed and often modified versions of real firearms: the G 2 A 2 is a fully automatic lookalike of the H&K SL 8 (a semi-automatic sporting rifle), the RPL is a slightly off-model MP 5 A 3, the SM 15 is based on the OA-93, the USP-40 is renamed the AT-14 and given an extended clip (18 rounds, rather than 13), the VK-12 is more or less identical to the SPAS-12, and the ASP battle rifle is a carbon copy of the TAR-21, except that the former uses 7.62mm rather than 5.56mm rounds.
- Entropia Universe, despite being set far in the future, provides players with guns made by Meckel & Loch (a play on Heckler and Koch) and Starkhov (the Starkhov rifles are even clearly patterned after AK-47 and similarly named).
- Some of the weapons in All Points Bulletin are fictional, but the barely-modified G36C is named "STAR 556", the H&K USP is named "Obeya FBW", the AK-47 is named "N-TEC 5" and the Desert Eagle is named "ACT 44".
- Wolf Team: And how. AKEI-47, EM-16, EF-2000...
- City of Heroes allows for Thugs and Dual Pistols players to customize the appearance of their right and left pistols individually. The plainly named "Semi Auto" model is clearly a Desert Eagle clone. They do however use the real names for the Colt Navy, Colt Model 29, and Uzi options.
- Fallout Online adds a weapon literally called the AKA-47.
- The Soviet Conscripts in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 are armed with the ADK-45 assault rifles which look an awful lot like AK-47s. Makes sense, as this is an Alternate Universe.
- Interestingly enough, Boris in the Red Alert 2 Expansion Pack Yuri's Revenge is stated to be armed with an AK-47. However, since the third game suffers from yet another case of Alternate Universe, it is possible that a similar assault rifle was developed either by someone else or was simply named differently (also developed 2 years early).
- Averted for the basic infantry in Red Alert 2, however; while their firearms are never named in-game, the manual and other outside sources identify them as using M60s (Allied G.I.) and PPSh-41s (Soviet Conscript).
- In Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, certain guns have slightly different manufacturer names but retain the correct model number. Examples include the Klock 17 (Glock 17) and the W&S Model 29 (S&W Model 29).
- In Fallout 3, all guns have generic names like "Assault Rifle" (similar to an HK HK33), "Chinese Assault-Rifle" (a Chinese variant of the AK-101), etc. This is unlike the first two games, which used real names for the real guns mixed in with the fictional weapons.
- Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines both uses fake names and a couple real ones. The Franchi SPAS 15 is called the Jaegerspaz XV, the Uzi is given the ludicrous pseudonym Lassiter Killmatic, and the Glock 17 is called the Brokk 17c. Strangely, the Steyr AUG and Colt Anaconda are called by their proper names. The Utica M37 is a pretty clever pseudonym, since it must have taken some actual research on the part of the developers to discover that Utica is a small town in Upstate New York like the actual weapon's hometown of Ithaca.
- While Valkyria Chronicles uses entirely fictional weapons, one very, very familiar gun is present: The Ruhm, which is the German MG 34 with a different paint job. For comparison: Ruhm; MG34.
- The first Parasite Eve uses real model numbers, but no manufacturer names and only generic textures.
- Each and every one of Vincent's guns in Final Fantasy VII besides his Infinity+1 Sword has a real life counterpart. In some cases, the names aren't even changed.
- Every single one of the guns in Alpha Protocol is a real weapon, from the Glock pistols to the H&K submachine guns. However, for licensing reasons, the names of every single gun are changed. Glock weapons are now Samael weapons, any Russian weapon is designated UC, including the AK-47, and so on.
- Ace Combat uses real-world names for all existing aircraft (with the exception of the Northern Wings mobile game, which uses planes with new names that somewhat resemble real-world planes). Weapons, on the other hand, are given generic names like UGB (Unguided Bomb, alternatively with suffix S, M, or L depending on size), though missiles are clearly modeled on real-life weapons. Like the F-14 carrying the AIM-54 Phoenix. Electrosphere sidesteps this by giving the planes enhanced-sounding names, such as EF2000-E Typhoon II (Eurofighter Typhoon), XFA-36A (Mc Donnell X-36), or F-15 Eagle+ . It also helps that, the game being futuristic, there's more room for made-up aircraft.
- Mostly averted in Operation Flashpoint and its successor Arm A. However, one notable case where this was played straight in OFP was the Czech SA-58 assault rifle (a distant cousin of the AK-47 and AKM). It was called "AK-47 CZ". This is all the more odder, since the developers are Czechs and virtually every other weapon uses its copyrighted name. Some of the civilian vehicles in the game (Trabants, Škodas, Minis and Zetor tractors) also play the trope straight (the rest avert it).
- Every Heckler & Koch weapon in SWAT 4 is given a generic label ("9mm submachinegun" for the MP5A4) or a changed name ("Gb36" instead of G36). However, every firearm manufactured by Colt and Benelli is licensed (complete with small-print legalese), and therefore correctly named.
- The inexplicable "RK-47" in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
- The original demo for Hitman 2 used real names for firearms such as the 9mm Beretta, but these were changed to generic/false names for the full game. Perhaps weapons producers don't like their weapons to be associated with bad killings, as if there are 'good' killings. He has since come to use a pair of AMT Hardballers, never referred to as such. Instead, they use the poor cover name Silverballers.
- In the Lupin III game, Treasure of the Sorcerer King Lupin's trademark Walther P38 is referred to just as a "Thirty-Eight".
- The first Splinter Cell is undecided on the issue: text files (subtitles included) refer to Sam's rifle as "SC-20K", but when you're ordered to retrieve it in the Langley mission, you can hear Lambert calling it a F2000. It's played more straight with the "SC Pistol", in reality an FN Five-seveN.
- Conviction use real names for most guns, including the Five-seveN, but the F2000 is now called SC-3000, which means that it's possible that it's Third Echelon's custom model.
- The original Resident Evil games for the Play Station (as well as Resident Evil Code Veronica) featured plenty of real firearms such as Berettas, Colt revolvers, Remington shotguns among other. Once the series started being released on the GameCube, Capcom decided to use generic names for the weapons: the Beretta was replaced by a custom version called the Samurai Edge (previously introduced in Resident Evil 3 Nemesis), while the Colt Python was renamed the "Silver Serpent". A few of the weapons in Resident Evil 4 are named after real weapons, such as the TMP, the Red 9 (a variant of the Mauser C96) and the Chicago Typewriter (the nickname for the Thompson submachine gun).
- The Syphon Filter series uses a mix of real names, fake names, generic descriptions, and completely fictional guns. Examples: HK5=H&K MP5, 9mm=Glock 9mm, .45=Colt 45, G18=Glock 18C, H11=H&K G11(they both use caseless rounds), K3G4=H&K G3KA4 (compact version of the G3, BIZ-2=PP-19 Bizon SMG (a gun with a special helical mag.), PK102=AK102, Spyder = Skorpion, etc. They started using real gun names with Omega Strain.
- In The Club, all firearm models were hastily edited during the late beta, turning them into horrid mess, but some are still recognizable: "SP Hornet" is a Steyr SPP submachine gun, "Hammerhead" is the Desert Eagle and "PD 9 Black Widow" is a P90 (bit hacked up, though). The most egregious example is most probably "Raptor" rifle, consisting of a G36 stock, AK-47 main body and thick pipe for a barrel.
- Army of Two largely averts this trope, although with some exceptions (M4 called "S-System" and FAMAS G2 called "Felin 2C" for instance).
- These two examples are still aversions to some degree, with S-System being a version of an M4 fitted with a selective interface rail system, and there is a Felin variant of the FAMAS for use with the French infantry combat system of the same name.
- Dark Sector plays this one really weirdly; almost every weapon is a model of one gun, named after a second gun of similar type. So Hayden's "Tekna 9mm" is a 45 ACP H&K Mark 23 named after the Russian Vector SR-1 pistol, the "Vekesk Micro" is a Klin PP-9 named after the SR-3 Veresk SMG, and so on. The exceptions are the AKS-74U and RPG-7, which have the right names.
- Used in Uncharted 1 and 2. Some of the the made-up names for Nate's weapons partially allude to the real names, such as the Wes .44 (S&W .44 Magnum), Desert 5 (Desert Eagle), and SAS-12 (Franchi SPAS-12).
- The SOCOM series mostly does this. Examples include the HK 36 (H&K G 36 C), IW-80A2 (Enfield SA 80), VSV-39 (VSS Vintorez), AG-94 (AN-94 Abakan), and M4-90 (Benelli M4 Super 90). Interestingly, some weapons have their actual names, like the MSG 90, AT 4, and SR-25.
- Grand Theft Auto Vice City seemed to fall under this as well, with rather generic names for its firearms. GTA 3 and San Andreas were slightly more willing to use assault rifle names, although other weapons were still generic-named (if not generic-shaped). The game extended this trope from the guns to the vehicles, with identifiable real world models given different names.
- Vice City was actually much like III and San Andreas' originally in that it did have real names in its first release. It was only after the Bowdlerized "Haitian Friendly" version was released that this trope came into play.
- The Saint's Row games do this with all of their firearms, but if you look at the weapon closely you can probably identify its real-life counterpart. Most obvious is the AK renamed the "K6 Krukov". Humorously, the in game version of the Desert Eagle is called the GDHC .50, "GDHC" standing for "Goddamn Hand Cannon."
- In The Godfather game almost all weapons have generic descriptors or are Named Weapons except for maybe the Tommygun and (Colt) "Python".
- The Saboteur uses this rather haphazardly. Some weapons are given generic names (like 'silenced pistol' or 'automatic shotgun'), some use fictional names (e.g. 'Raum pistol' for a Mauser C96 or 'Kruger' for Parabellum 08 i.e. 'Luger') some use their popular names ('Tommy Gun') and in some cases the name is left unaltered (MP 40, Panzerschreck).
- Red Dead Redemption uses both real gun names as well as fake names. You'll see famous and well known guns of the period such as Springfield Rifles and Henry Repeaters. However the M1911 gets the award for ultimate Bland-Name Product in this game: High Powered Pistol.
Examples (Other Media)
- Used in the GURPS Basic Set. All guns are given a basic descriptive name such as "Auto Pistol, 9mm" or "Assault Carbine, 5.56mm". However this isn't meant to be so much deceptive as it is generic and they later gave statistics to dozens of real life firearms.
- Most guns in Arkham Horror go by a very generic name like "rifle" or ".357 magnum". The closest to a real name is the "Tommy Gun", which is a nickname rather than an official designation.