Creators of the best-selling war-game franchise, Call of Duty, find themselves in the line of fire once again for depicting yet another real-life controversial political figure in their game.
Previously, the Inquisitr reported that Call of Duty had depicted the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Noriega attempted to sue Activision for not first seeking his permission to “feature” him in the game.
Game Watcher has the former dictator’s plaintiff statement on file against the makers of Call of Duty.
“Defendants’ video game, ‘Black Ops II,’ features several nonfiction characters, including plaintiff, for one purpose: to heighten realism in its video game, ‘Black Ops II.’ This translates directly into heightened sales for defendants. Defendants deliberately and systematically misappropriated plaintiff’s likeness to increase revenues and royalties, at the expense of plaintiff and without the consent of plaintiff.”
Activision claims that their only intention was to make the game as accurate as possible, yet they claim that all events in the game are fictional. Noriega claims that he suffered economic loss from prison because of his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The case was promptly dismissed.
This time, according to BBC News, reports have emerged that the family of late Angolan rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, is suing the makers of the game for the way that they depicting their late relative.
Three of Savimbi’s children have come forward against Activision with defamation charges. They are seeking a grand total of $1.1 million (USD equivalent) claiming that the game-development company depicted their father as a “barbarian.”
Developers admitted that the depiction was “rather favorable” as a rebuttal.
Savimbi waged a nearly 40-year-long civil war with the Angolan government. The movement was called the Unita movement.
For years, Angola became a battleground, Unita rebels were backed by the U.S. and the apartheid government in South Africa. Angola’s ruling party was supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba.
The rebel leader was killed in action in 2002 during the conflict.
In the last years of the Angolan war, Jonas Savimbi became a symbol to the outside world for everything that was wrong in Angola.
Call of Duty is being accused of portraying a rebel leader as someone who:
- burnt women believed to be witches alive at Savimbi’s headquarters in the early 1980s.
- murdered families.
- Witnessed 500,000 people killed since he launched the four-decade conflict.
Yet the man behind the rebellion is still admired by those who have grown up with the conflict. He even received strong support from the United States and met President Reagan at the White House in 1986 regarding the cause.
Perhaps this is the angle that Call of Duty was trying to take on the Savimbi’s persona. Nevertheless they are still being sued because his children are still upset with Call of Duty’s portrayal.
Activision’s lawyer Etienne Kowalski, said that the family’s claims of showing their late father negatively in Call of Duty aren’t legitimate claming that the rebel leader is clearly shown as a “good guy who comes to help the heroes.”
“Seeing him kill people, cutting someone’s arm off… that isn’t Dad,” said Cheya Savimbi, one of Jonas’s children.
The three live in Paris and have brought up their concerns with the Call of Duty game to the French branch of Activision.
In Call of Duty, Savimbi often shouts phrases like “death to the MPLA!” The battle cry was indeed referring to the referring to the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola or the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola in Portuguese.
Take a look a the video for yourself below,
Wouldn’t you say that the resemblance is uncanny?
Call of Duty:Black Ops III was released on November, 2015, with no claims of former dictators or rebel leaders being wrongfully depicted so far.
Their first DLC package, “Awakening,” featuring new maps and a new “Zombie Adventure” was just released for the PS4 and will hit Xbox One in 30 days.
Hopefully the company doesn’t experience anymore doppelganger complaints as it pushes out more content.
[Photo via AP Images/Jaoa Silva and IParchive.org]