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You’ll never see guns like the ACR or MP5 in MW3 and here’s why

Sledgehammer Games' Modern Warfare 3 is a throwback to Call of Duty games gone by, but there's a reason why you're not going to see the same guns available.

MW3 ACR name change: an image of a soldier from Modern Warfare 3 and a sad emoji

Call of Duty’s upcoming release Modern Warfare 3 is a throwback in almost every sense of the word. All the multiplayer maps available at launch are remakes of maps from 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, developer Sledgehammer Games is reverting a number of changes Infinity Ward introduced in last year’s Modern Warfare 2, and the series’ infamous antagonist Makarov is back to cause Captain Price and Task Force 141 problems. If you’re looking forward to using guns like the MP5 or ACR in MW3, though, you’re out of luck – but, we know why that is.

We know the conversation around the best MW2 weapons and which MW3 guns are going to be the best is ever-changing, but there’s one thing everyone who has played Call of Duty games for a while can agree on: the ACR in 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 was one of the best. The fact that it’s not exactly back in Modern Warfare 3 is something of a shame, but there’s actually a very good reason for that – and the reason why the ACR was in MW2 to begin with is a little strange, too.

As the Washington Street Journal reports ahead of the Modern Warfare 3 release date, and Call of Duty content creator CharlieIntel explains, the fallout from lawsuits by families of shooting victims – targeted at weapon manufacturers – is one of the main reasons why we’re never going to see the ACR in a Call of Duty game like Modern Warfare 3.

In 2009, in the build up to the release of the original Modern Warfare 2, WSJ reports that weapon manufacturer Remington made a deal with Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard to put the now-iconic ACR into the game. The deal was struck and the decision was made, quite controversially, “as part of a marketing plan to reach young customers” and drive sales of the ACR (or Adaptive Combat Rifle) in real life.

While we can’t say the same is for other weapon manufacturers and their decision to allow real weapon names in Call of Duty games, the marketing plan failed Remington and the fact that some of the best FPS games were unavoidably associated with real shootings seems to be the reason why Activision Blizzard has stopped this in recent entries.

The MCW, which is the ACR’s successor in Modern Warfare 3, does look good though. You can check out some gameplay from the MW3 open beta below:

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Sure, this might make your trip to the Gunsmith a little confusing, but it’s something that protects Call of Duty from any flak – and, we can imagine, saves them a bit of money in licensing fees, too. We can also imagine that this makes implementing a system like the Modern Warfare 3 Aftermarket Parts attachments a lot less troublesome; they probably don’t need to worry about Heckler and Koch when they’re altering a Lachmann Sub, but they might need to if it was called an MP5.

If you’re a die-hard ACR fan and you want to take advantage of the next best thing when Modern Warfare 3 early access rolls around, you’ll need to check out our best MW3 MCW loadout ahead of time. The Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer offering isn’t available initially, with early access only opening up the Campaign. However, you’re going to be able to take advantage of a full arsenal of weaponry in Modern Warfare 3’s Open Combat missions. So, there’s still a chance to get to grips with the MCW before you dive into any one of the newly remastered MW3 maps.