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Gaming is going through some strange times these days, especially when someone like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani comes out in favor of a game like Call of Duty. Why did this happen and how? Well, it all started a not-so-long time ago in a far away city when a former dictator and convicted murderer sued Activision for stealing his identity and using it in Call of Duty.
Manuel Noriega filed a suit back in July, claiming that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had taken his likeness without his permission. The suit claimed...
“In the game, a character that looks like the real Manuel Noriega and is also named Manuel Noriega assists the CIA but then betrays them. In real life, Noriega was a close US ally until the Americans became concerned with the dictator's penchant for using violence against his enemies and citizens. The US dropped ties and invaded Panama in 1989.”
Well, today Activision is putting those allegations to rest. They didn't need to send out any flashy e-mail with a Call of Duty poster and some a reminder about pre-order DLC. Instead they humbly posted a message on the official Activision investor page, where they gleefully acknowledged that the suit has been dismissed.
Rudy Giuliani stated...
"This ruling is an important victory and we thank the court for protecting free speech," ... "This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win. This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world."
The original suit was filed with the intent of Noriega gaining a piece of that billion dollar pie that is Call of Duty.
This isn't the first time someone has tried to sue a prominent and popular video game franchise for a few bucks on the side. One of the more popular lawsuits of recent times was the one from Lindsay Lohan suing Rockstar over Grand Theft Auto V. One of the real housewives from one of those reality TV shows also tried getting in on the lawsuit action, attempting to sue Rockstar, too.
In the case of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the lawsuit seemed kind of bizarre and surreal, but Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard seemed to be glad that the whole ordeal can be put behind them, stating...
"Today's ruling is a victory for the 40 million dedicated members of our Call of Duty community and global audiences who enjoy historical fiction across all works of art,"..."I want to thank Mayor Giuliani, who has dedicated his life to the protection of citizens against terrorists like Manuel Noriega and today for defending free speech."
According to the court documents they struck down and dismissed the case under the banner of protected free speech. Yay for justice?
Basically this means Activision and their development subsidiaries will be able to continue to include notable historical figures in Call of Duty games, and all those involved with the case being dismissed have shouted to the high-heavens that this is a major win for protected free speech.