The Call of Duty series went back to its roots this year with Call of Duty: WWII, but that hasn’t stopped Humvee manufacturer AM General from taking issue with some of the previous games in Activision’s long-running shooter franchise. The vehicle company has accused Activision of using its Humvee vehicles without permission in several of its games, which it said has contributed to their success.
The lawsuit — “AM General LLC v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. et al” — was filed on Tuesday, and said that the success of the Call of Duty series has come “only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games.”
The Humvee, or “High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,” has been featured in the series dating back to 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It made subsequent appearances in both of that game’s sequels as well as 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II and 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts. It isn’t featured in this year’s installment, nor has it been in the recent futuristic games, so the timing of the lawsuit is perplexing.
Call of Duty has featured prominent brand names in its games in the past, perhaps most notably the EOTech holographic rifle sight. As the games moved further into the future, many of its real-world weapons and equipment were replaced with completely fictional creations, including hovering vehicles, anti-gravity grenades, and weapons firing concentrated beams of energy instead of bullets.
AM General’s assertion that the Humvee vehicles have contributed to Call of Duty’s success seem a little bizarre, as the series doesn’t typically feature driving sequences. Instead, the vehicles are scattered throughout maps to be used as cover and can be destroyed with the use of explosives like grenades or C4. In Electronic Arts’ Battlefield series, the Humvee has also been available, and it’s usable in in the games’ multiplayer modes. Here, it can be used in a weaponized variant, armed with a machine gun to take down enemy players.
Call of Duty: WWII is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.