The ‘Call of Duty’ game franchise is one of the most successful gaming series ever. The makers have always attempted to use real-life personalities to infuse a strong sense of relevance and reality. Interestingly, barbaric former Panamanian Dictator, Manuel Noriega, currently in jail, is suing the makers.
Manuel Noriega, once a feared dictator has been accused and convicted of pumping counterfeit currency in the system, getting the youth addicted to drugs and ruthlessly slaughtering anyone who dared oppose his anarchy. He is currently in a Panama jail serving his long sentence. But that hasn’t stopped him from trying to make a quick buck from Activision Blizzard, the video game company that makes the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise.
Noriega is accusing Activision of not seeking his permission to ‘feature’ him in the game, reported Strategy Informer. Apparently in 2012, when Activision released Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the game has a mission wherein marine commandos have to capture or kill an errant dictator that is clearly named Manuel Noriega. The background, topography and story-line too, are remarkably similar. But that has always been the intention of Activision Blizzard, confirmed the company.
The video game includes historical footage and several real-life characters in Cold War scenarios, including Oliver North. Interestingly, North did his own voice-over for the game apart from acting as an advisor. Even Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus is depicted in a fictional scenario in the game as the secretary of defense in 2025.
Noriega argues in the lawsuit that his portrayal “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the 2012 video game damaged his reputation, reported BBC. The company used his image and name in order to make money, the lawsuit says, therefore he’s entitled to a share of the profits. The official wordings read,
“Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff’s image and likeness.”
Noriega was a major player in a country of critical regional importance to the United States because of its location on the Panama Canal, a highly sensitive and key strategic and economic waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on the narrow isthmus linking the Americas. For almost 20 years, Noriega got away with his crimes, but, then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of the Central American nation in December 1989, saying Noriega’s rule posed a threat to U.S. lives and property.
Though Noriega sought refuge in the Vatican embassy, he later surrendered and after being convicted in the Supreme Court, is currently serving his prison sentence. Apart from seeking monetary compensation it is not clear what Noriega is looking to gain from suing the makers of Call of Duty.
In light of the recent events, Noriega might just get compensation.
[Image Credit | Wikia]