Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, the latest open-world multiplayer third-person shoot-'em-up from Ubisoft, has found itself at the centre of a political controversy following a complaint from the Bolivian government regarding the country's portrayal in the game.
Traditionally, games have shied away from using real-world scenarios as their basis - sometimes out of fear of trademark or copyright infringement, as with branded cars and weapons, and other times simply to head off complaints, as with the Grand Theft Auto series which has - GTA London aside - used fictionalised versions of real-world locations, like San Andreas and Liberty City. Games based on Tom Clancy franchises, by contrast, typically strive for accuracy, entering into licensing agreements with rightsholders to use genuine brands and weapons within the game. This also extends to locations used within selected games, and it's this that has the Bolivian government up in arms.
In Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, the players finds themselves in a Bolivia which has fallen to the narcotics cartels. The solution, in true gaming fashion, is extreme violence, but the Bolivian government isn't pleased about its nation being used as the backdrop. Newswire service Reuters
has reported on a formal complaint from the Bolivian government to the French embassy regarding the game's portrayal of Bolivia as war-torn and at the mercy of drug cartels, the latter doubtless based on the statistic that Bolivia is the third biggest producer of coca leaves, from which cocaine is produced, in the world.
Speaking to the service, an Ubisoft spokesperson played up that the game is set in a fictionalised version of Bolivia - much like previous Tom Clancy games have depicted other violent acts of terrorism and warfare in the US and abroad - and that the nation was chosen as the base for 'its magnificent landscapes and rich cultures
The Bolivian government has requested intervention from the French government, but warned that it reserves the right to take legal action against Ubisoft if negotiations do not go its way.