While the Call of Duty’s general plotlines and tendency to hyperbolize real-life situations have created some of gaming’s most intense railroad shooting, it’s come with a price. Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega sued the studio over his portrayal in Black Ops 2 a little over a year ago, but the court case was eventually thrown out. Now, the same lawsuit is being put on Activision, but this time for the portrayal of former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.
The family of Jonas Savimbi are arguing that the former leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is depicted to gamers in Black Ops II as a “barbarian” and a “big halfwit who wants to kill everybody.” They argue that his qualities of being a diehard strategist and politician were completely overturned for an image that would more support the game than historical accuracy.
A legal representative from Activision Blizzard told The Guardian that the lawsuit is without merit. The publisher stated that Black Ops II depicts Savimbi as a “good guy,” portrayed “for who he was … a character of Angolan history, a guerrilla chief who fought the [People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola].”
If this case goes through, it will open the way for other people portrayed in video games to sue for their appearance, as well as changing the way that developers insert historical figures in games.