After the success of Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the Bolivian government has lodged a formal complaint with the French embassy in La Paz over the game. Their complaint? Wildlands portrays Bolivia in a negative light. Which, it sort of does. Granted there are moments of sympathy. One of the first pieces of dialogue in the game is your Ghost team talking about how the people have no choice but to turn to drug trafficking, because everything else has failed them.
And the game doesn’t take place in current-day. It’s an alternative future where a drug cartel took over the country turning it into a narco-state. According to Reuter’s report, “Interior Minister Carlos Romero said Bolivia had delivered a letter to the French ambassador and asked that the French government intervene, adding that Bolivia reserved the right to take legal action.”
Ubisoft responded with a statement saying, essentially that the game is a work of fiction and Bolivia was chosen as the game’s back drop because of 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,” Ubisoft said. And it is in fact a beautifully rendered world that we’ve been given in Wildlands. That was one of the highlights of the game.
Bolivia is the third leading producer of cocao leaves that are used in the manufacture of cocaine. So it’s not exactly like Bolivia was chosen by Ubi at random. And Ubisoft is right, the game is fictional albeit, and while the Bolivian government has the right to pursue legal action, that does not mean that they’ll win.
Ubisoft is a large company spanning several countries, its not like they haven’t done their research. I’m certain they’ve made sure nothing in Wildlands would be cause to interfere with the game’s release next Tuesday.
And gamers seem to be reacting well to it. The open and closed betas were the largest in Ubisoft history. My thoughts on the beta can be found here. And we’ll have a review of the game in full in time for launch day.
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