Bolivia Isn't Happy About its Representation in Ghost Recon Wildlands

Bolivia Isn't Happy About its Representation in Ghost Recon Wildlands

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Ghost Recon Wildlands is launching next week, but the country of Bolivia isn't happy about how it's portrayed in the game.

Ghost Recon Wildlands will pit you and your team of "Ghosts" against the Santa Blanca drug cartel in the wilds of Bolivia when it releases next week. There have been some promising reports on the gameplay so far, but there's at least one entity that isn't very happy about the the game: The country of Bolivia.

After seeing how the country was portrayed in the game, the Bolivian government has filed a formal complaint with the French embassy. Interior Minister Carlos Romero told reporters on Wednesday that the government had asked the French government to intervene, and added that Bolivia was reserving the right to take legal action. "We have the standing to do it (take legal action), but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation," he said.

As you might imagine, Ubisoft's response was that the game is completely fictional. In a statement to GameSpot, Ubisoft called the game "work of fiction, similar to movies or TV shows," and said that, "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."

The company said that it chose Bolivia as the setting because of the country's "magnificent landscapes and rich culture." It also went out of its way to contrast the game world with the real world, saying,

"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."

Whether or not Bolivia chooses to start a legal action, and what form that legal action might take are unclear at this time. The Wildlands beta was very popular, with 6.8 million players participating - the most for any Ubisoft game.

Ghost Recon Wildlands launches on March 7 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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You remember what happened to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames in Venezuela?

Yeah, same kind of thing going on here. Seen it before, let's just move on.

at most they can ban it in bolivia

I dunno. I had fun in there. It might help with tourism if you can showcase the scenery and shootouts with cartel drug lords.
With Xcom 2, it really confused me as to why the start had a disclaimer for how anything that may resemble anyone or anything/place in real life is all just coincidence and only a work of fiction, when the setting is a futuristic alien invasion with telapathy and body snatching. But now I see why it is best to cover all your bases beforehand.

As someone of Bolivian heritage, I'm conflicted on this. The landscapes and setting is in many ways beautiful and brings together some of the best of what I've experienced from Bolivia. However, much of the "characters", the language, politics and pretty much anything that isn't a landscape feels like it could have been any generic South American country. For any French developer or the average gamer, the universe should feel "good enough", but I found myself stopping every few minutes, observing something and thinking to myself "this isn't how things are in Bolivia".

Right, because in a fast paced action shooter, people are really going to stop and admire the scenery and nuances of the setting, and whatever in Ubisoft goes for as a 'respectable' approach to local culture and history.

As for whatever legal steps the country of Bolivia can actually take, I don't know. And I have no idea on how far reaching the 'respect' of Ubisoft goes towards the portrayal of the country.

JenSeven:
Right, because in a fast paced action shooter, people are really going to stop and admire the scenery and nuances of the setting, and whatever in Ubisoft goes for as a 'respectable' approach to local culture and history.

Yeah, honestly, in a game like this, I'm more concerned with getting to a proper vantage point or firing position and making sure my squad sticks to cover to catch the enemy by surprise.

Besides, drug cartels are pretty much the biggest constant across all of Latin America. They're the perfect generic bad guys for anywhere south of the US border.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that any country that isn't part of North America, Europe and Asia is probably going to get the raw end of it when it comes to being portrayed in fiction, particularly a military shooter, but legal action? Fuck off buddy.

And how many times is America portrayed negatively in American fiction?

Get over yourself Bolivia. Just as Africa and Venezuela should have gotten over themselves when they complained when a game was in their location and they complained.

Should've made it about hunting nazis in Argentina. You get the same landscape and nobody gets offended.

Oh, screw these government types! Bolivia is a hotspot for drug trafficking and its pseudo-communist government is deeply involved in it. That's why they are so angry. It'll attract unwanted attention to their criminal activities.

This is causing flashbacks to Merc-

American Tanker:
You remember what happened to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames in Venezuela?

Yeah, same kind of thing going on here. Seen it before, let's just move on.

This is why I need to wake up earlier.

But yeah, same deal and same result. A bitchfit caused probably on some level caused by it hitting a little too close to home like the above states, waving of a small dick of force, then the game gets released to lukewarm reception.

Next.

American Tanker:

JenSeven:
Right, because in a fast paced action shooter, people are really going to stop and admire the scenery and nuances of the setting, and whatever in Ubisoft goes for as a 'respectable' approach to local culture and history.

Yeah, honestly, in a game like this, I'm more concerned with getting to a proper vantage point or firing position and making sure my squad sticks to cover to catch the enemy by surprise.

Besides, drug cartels are pretty much the biggest constant across all of Latin America. They're the perfect generic bad guys for anywhere south of the US border.

Except that this is clearly explained as the Mexican drug cartel taking control of whole Bolivia for their representative resource: coca leaves. Yeah. It isn't like there are drug cartels in Colombia or Peru that don't need to traverse half the continent to get there, is it?

Besides, if people can complain how their favorite fictional character is misrepresented in a work of fiction; it's fair that people can complain about real-world being misrepresented in fiction (even if neither complains change anything).

They should include the traditional Ubisoft disclaimer, you know the one... the one that was written by a PR person, and basically says "we know nothing about your culture or your life philosophy, but if something we do or say offends you, please remember we employ people that are similar to you in one way or another". The corporate version of "I am not a racist. I know a black person..."

Listen, I understand where Bolivia is coming from. I have seen far too many times companies trying to be semi-"realistic" by using a real place, but going for some country that is small enough, far enough or unknown enough that they hope they can get away with it relatively unharmed, even sometimes changing an adaptation so that it doesn't offend potential markets. However, the Bolivian government is doing it wrong... A letter to the embassy, complains, even banning it is fair game, but taking legal actions is only going to hurt the legitimacy of your cause.

American Tanker:

JenSeven:
Right, because in a fast paced action shooter, people are really going to stop and admire the scenery and nuances of the setting, and whatever in Ubisoft goes for as a 'respectable' approach to local culture and history.

Yeah, honestly, in a game like this, I'm more concerned with getting to a proper vantage point or firing position and making sure my squad sticks to cover to catch the enemy by surprise.

Besides, drug cartels are pretty much the biggest constant across all of Latin America. They're the perfect generic bad guys for anywhere south of the US border.

I am pretty sure you are being sarcastic but (still)... you do realize South America is pretty big and varied, right? To say drug cartels are a constant across all of Latin America is like saying everything north of Mexico (including places like Canada, California and Chicago) is full of cowboys.

Huh, that's funny. When I booted up the beta I thought to myself "I wonder what Bolivia is going to think about this".

Guess I know now.

I mean, their depiction of Mexican terrorists always seemed so believable....

I'm sure Russia is just glad its not another game about them.

Are there actually any legal options in cases like these? I mean, you can't copyright or trademark a country... right?

Anytime I think you can't sue over some stupid thing, someone does.

FogHornG36:
I'm sure Russia is just glad its not another game about them.

I remember being confused by Battlefield 1 featuring the USA but not France or Russia - in the conflict where both latter countries played a far greater role than the former one.
But then I remembered Remedy and CoH2 and thought, "Maybe it's for the best after all."

So yeah, I feel for our Bolivian bros but better you than us this time.

crypticracer:
Are there actually any legal options in cases like these?

Yes, it's called right of reply. France has it, Bolivia has it. It's a stretch but there is legal recourse and precedent.

Well, I'm conflicted. Clarkson, can you shed some light on the subject?

Bolivia, this is my favorite Top Gear episode. You should be proud.

Oh look, some drug-crime ridden 3rd world hellhole is upset as being portrayed as a drug-crime ridden 3rd world hellhole. Who cares what they think? Go back to making my Nikes, and be grateful for the opportunity.

Jiub:
Oh look, some drug-crime ridden 3rd world hellhole is upset as being portrayed as a drug-crime ridden 3rd world hellhole. Who cares what they think? Go back to making my Nikes, and be grateful for the opportunity.

Aaaaannnd this is why we can't have nice things.

I'm willing to bet you don't know enough about the country to fill a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp, but you're more than happy to spout bullshit out of your mouth. People like you are why Bolivia is complaining in the first place; you'll believe anything presented in a "Murica Fuck Yeah" cream-you-pants-over-guns manner.

 

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