Bolivia Threatens Legal Action Over Ghost Recon Wildlands' Depiction of the Country

Written by Stuart Thomas on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 1:24 PM
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It seems Ubisoft was messing with the wrong people when it decided to set Ghost Recon Wildlands in the South American country of Bolivia. Despite featuring the fictionalised Santa Blanca Cartel, the Bolivian Government isn’t too happy about Ubisoft portraying its country as a gun happy haven for coke snorting drug lords and people traffickers. The Bolivian government has even gone so far as to ask the French government to intervene in Ghost Recon Wildlands’ launch or they will be forced to take legal action.

"We have the standing to take legal action, but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation," said Bolivian interior minister Carlos Romero.

Naturally enough, Ubisoft has been quick to defend itself, asserting that Ghost Recon Wildlands is a work of fiction and therefore not bound by law.

"Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is a work of fiction, similar to movies or TV shows,” reads the statement from Ubisoft. “Like all Tom Clancy’s games from Ubisoft, the game takes place in a modern universe inspired by reality, but the characters, locations and stories are all fantasies created solely for entertainment purposes. Bolivia was chosen as the background of this game based on its magnificent landscapes and rich culture. While the game’s premise imagines a different reality than the one that exists in Bolivia today, we do hope that the in-game world comes close to representing the country’s beautiful topography, and that players enjoy exploring the diverse and open landscapes it moved us to create."

On the one hand Ubisoft is busy trumpeting Ghost Recon Wildlands as a work of total fiction which has no basis on reality, while on the other it says its open-world Bolivia is a great representation of Bolivia’s landscape. It’s totally understandable why Bolivian officials would be a bit narked by this, however it’s difficult to envision any scenario in which they could build a legal case around this.

All of this hoo-hah does raise an interesting point though. As games become increasingly realistic, both in terms of visuals and thematic approaches, do developers have a responsibility not to tarnish the reputation of the places, or parties, involved?

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05:03 Mar-11-2017

I know! because Germany always got in an uproar when every a WWII game released and now they have to deal with WWI games now! Unbelievable!

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05:11 Mar-11-2017

On a serious note: There have been games that reenact the landing of Omaha Beach witch isn't fiction and Germany for the most part isn't bothered.

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02:23 Mar-09-2017

I think that the selection of "Bolivia" as evil is simply because few people in Bolivia, like in Uruguay and the rest of Latin America buy games. Is best for Ubisoft to lost sell in Bolivia rather than in Germany or Russia.

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02:18 Mar-09-2017

I am from Uruguay: democracy, ateism, cows, plains. 2005 film Submerged with Steven Seagal: dictatorship, terrorist, goats, jungles! Our gov protested. The film despicts and alternate reality Uruguay. Bizarre and funny. Now is Bolivia turn.

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13:15 Mar-06-2017

Ohhh
This is why ubisoft removed anti tamper :)

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12:11 Mar-06-2017

Maybe Bolivia needs to concentrate on its REAL world image instead of a fictitious one from a video game.

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23:53 Mar-07-2017

Yeah, if they don't like being portrayed as a country that can't control drug wars in their own borders, then they should start controlling the drug wars in their own borders.

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05:06 Mar-06-2017

i understand them. i mean when i played blood dragon, it totally reminded of the reality of life throughout those years.

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03:58 Mar-06-2017

Russian always pictured as bad guy in most game. But, they still cool about it. Come on Bolivia, why so TRIGGERED?

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00:50 Mar-06-2017

It must be hard being a country so insignificant that they feel a single video game set in a fictionalised version of that country is something that could ruin its reputation. Maybe if it wasn't full of cartels they wouldn't need to worry.

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23:02 Mar-05-2017

Look at Call of duty have they got sued yet? Screw off Bolivia Gov

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03:02 Mar-06-2017

Call of duty has been sued by the family of Jonas Savimbi and Manuel Noriega, both for defamation. Noriega's case was thrown out, but the Savimbi case is still ongoing

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21:50 Mar-05-2017

So I guess any game that has you fighting Nazis should be banned too since it portrays Germans in a bad light? I guess Witcher 3 should be pulled off the shelves because "The Eternal Fire" is essentially a portrayal of Christians during the crusades and portrays Christians in a bad light?

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21:54 Mar-05-2017

Here's a thought.... how about instead of getting triggered because someone stirs up painful memories of a moment in history you'd rather forget in that your country or people has had a negative impact on the world..... learn from that history and ensure that it never happens again... for he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it, we should NEVER forget! Never stop reminding!

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20:55 Mar-05-2017

Only reason this would trigger the bolivian government is if theres truth to the game.

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19:03 Mar-05-2017

...LOL !!!

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13:59 Mar-05-2017

I'm actually Bolivian, and the only reason the government is pissed at this is because its got layers of truth.Countless government officials and people directly involved with them have been caught in various drug stings.

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14:02 Mar-05-2017

With the government falling out of favor with the people in the last 2 years, creating a foreign threat to distract people of its shortcomings is a common strategy for this gov. I hope France tells them to go F themselves.

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14:26 Mar-05-2017

The truth stings, eh..?

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16:29 Mar-05-2017

Hey, nice to see fellow Bolivians here!
And yeah the government just went full retard again

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16:50 Mar-05-2017

The use of the word "again" makes your post very amusing to me.

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20:00 Mar-07-2017

Well our president did say rocks have sex, and eating chicken makes you gay. So yes... "full retard again" is a very proper description.

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13:57 Mar-05-2017

wow im British and we are depicted as the main villain or even as the the bad guys in every game if its set pre 1900s ahah, do i care not really

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12:52 Mar-05-2017

People are starving, getting raped, beeing tortured all over the world and gouverments only care how they are depicted in a video game. I ing hate this world. you in hell you god damn hypocrites!

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13:17 Mar-05-2017

The reality is quite sad. There are so many critical real-world problems that require fixing but here we humans, are arguing about some videogames :(

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12:40 Mar-05-2017

I have to say the Bolivian officials are acting quite pathetic, and I don't even like Ubi$oft.
I refuse to believe, even for 1 moment, that anyone anywhere actually plays the game, and after it thinks it's an accurate depiction of how Bolivia actually is.
It's just yet another example of out of touch idiots not understanding the medium "games".

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13:19 Mar-05-2017

Yes. Their argument is baseless, to say the least.

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12:40 Mar-05-2017

Change the country name to Bolivio

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12:25 Mar-05-2017

they could change the country name in the game and i wouldnt even give a sh..

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