One of the upcoming games from Ubisoft is Ghost Recon: Wildlands, an open-world game centered around taking down drug cartels in a South American country. Well, the country represented in the game isn't happy about their portrayal, and they're doing something about it.
According to Reuters, the Bolivian government filed a formal complaint with the French embassy on the grounds that it makes Bolivia look like nothing but a country filled with drug dealers, traffickers and violent criminals.
So why did the Bolivian government take their issue up with France and not with Ubisoft? Well, it's because Ubisoft is a company native to France, so quite naturally the Bolivian government is essentially trying to tattle tell on Ubisoft's "parent".
For those of you who don't know, Ghost Recon: Wildlands takes place in Bolivia. Gamers assemble a team and customize their character as they attempt to thwart the drug running happening within the country. This includes commandeering vehicles and taking out drug transport convoys, destroying distribution stations, interrogating and intimidating suppliers, and engaging in armed combat against drug militiamen.
It's not all bad tidings and evil intentions in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, though. The game also features rebel fighters also trying to fight back against the drug cartels. The locals aren't standing by idly... although you might find some who are.
Much like every other open-world game out there, there are good and bad people featured throughout the vast open world of Bolivia. However, it's the bad parts that has the Bolivian government up in arms... but not literally.
They decided to take their case to the French embassy before taking legal action against Ubisoft. They claim that they would prefer to use "diplomatic negotiation".
Ubisoft has already stated to Reuters that they chose Bolivia due to its rich environments and diverse locations. It probably also helps that it's the third largest supplier in the world of coca leaves that are used to produce cocaine, as pointed out by Reuters.
Even still, Ubisoft sticks by the claim that the game is a work of fiction and not representative wholly or entirely of Bolivia or Bolivian culture.
This is always one of the dangers of featuring a real life location in a video game. Former dictators were angered about Activision including their likenesses in Call of Duty games, and one French town was angered that Pokemon would pop up in their area within Pokemon Go without Niantic Labs first getting permission to do business there.
It's hard to tell which way this is going to go, because a lot of it depends on how Bolivia presents its case to the French government and, potentially, the courts. Of course, they'll likely use the fact that 6.8 million people participated in the open beta and possibly argue that it reflects negatively on the country and could affect their tourism and travel. However, that remains to be seen, and for now they're simply going through the proper channels to pursue said diplomatic negotiations.
Meanwhile, Ghost Recon: Wildlands will launch for the PS4, Xbox One and PC on March 7th.