Throughout many of their Call of Duty games, Activision Blizzard uses real historical figures. Occasionally this backfires on them and draws ire from said individuals or in this case their relatives. Three of the children of Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), who are now based in France, have filed a defamation lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for their father’s portrayal in the game Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
A statement from the family’s lawyer, Carole Enfert, said Savimbi is represented as a “big halfwit who wants to kill everybody” and a “barbarian”. The lawsuit will argue that Savimbi was in fact a “political leader and strategist” and will be seeking 1,000,000 euros in damages from the French branch of Activision Blizzard.
Etienne Kowalski, a lawyer for Activision Blizzard, rejected this notion and stated that Savimbi is portrayed as a “good guy” and was treated fairly “for who he was … a character of Angolan history, a guerrilla chief who fought the MPLA”.
It is interesting to note that this is not the first time that Activision Blizzard has been sued over Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In 2014, the former dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega, who is currently imprisoned, attempted to sue over his appearance in said game. Activision Blizzard retained the former mayor of New York city, Rudy Giuliani, to defend them. Noriega’s suit was rejected by a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, under the first amendment right to free expression.
Do you not care about the legal system dealings of major video game publishers? Are you one of the 25 children of Jonas Savimbi? Got something to say about this? Leave us a response in the comments section.