For years now Call of Duty has drawn the ire of gamers both young and old who believe the franchise has fallen into a creative rut since blowing the lid off the FPS genre with Modern Warfare 1. As a result, many have criticized the franchise to no end; trying anything and everything in the hopes COD would return to its former glory.
However, some of Call of Duty‘s biggest critics aren’t even gamers at all, some see the game in a different light — not as a disappointing retail product, but as an indictment of foreign politics in far off countries. One such critic that has popped up just this week is Manuel Noriega, noted Panamanian dictator during the ’80s. But while most Call of Duty detractors keep their criticism to strongly worded letters and comments, Noriega is taking things a step further and suing publisher Activision for using his likeness in Black Ops 2.
For those who might not have played Black Ops 2, Noriega plays a central role in the mission “Suffer With Me,” in which the Mason and Woods try and capture the dictator. Of course, things don’t go according to plan and Noriega ends up getting away. But the mission doesn’t hold back in painting a clear picture of Noriega, both recreating his likeness in the game and showcasing him as a ruthless individual.
So, obviously Noriega didn’t take too kindly to this representation and he considers it “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation, and misappropriation for economic gain.” There’s no word on how much Noriega is seeking in damages, though.
While it’s unclear how much of a case Noriega has, he certainly has firmer ground to stand on than, say, Lindsay Lohan, who is suing developer Rockstar Games for allegedly using her likeness in Grand Theft Auto 5. And we emphasize the word allegedly, because the connections between the so-called Lohan parody and the actually actress are slight. Noriega, on the other hand, is most definitely in Black Ops 2 and his depiction is less than flattering, but he was a Panamanian dictator and he was sentenced to prison…twice.
Ultimately, given the cash cow that is Call of Duty we suspect that Activision will settle this issue out of court, unless they feel this is a winnable case. We’ll keep you posted.