In Brief

Call of Duty sued by Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi's family

Children claim the video game depicts their late father as a 'barbarian brute'

savimbi.jpg

Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi's children have started libel proceedings in France for €1m (£750,000) in damages against the makers of Call of Duty: Black Ops II due to its depiction of their father.

Savimbi led a decades-long, CIA-backed guerrilla insurgency against the Angolan government and its Communist-backed party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. He was killed in battle in 2002.

Now the rebel chief appears in a dream sequence in the video game, which was released in 2012, and players can interact with the character.

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Savimbi's children are outraged by the depiction of their father, reports the BBC.

"Seeing him kill people, cutting someone's arm off... that isn't Dad," said Cheya Savimbi.

Call of Duty's maker, Activision Blizzard, disagrees and says it portrays the former rebel as a "good guy who comes to help the heroes".

Savimbi's inclusion was "surprising", says the Guardian, as the other iterations usually use fictional characters in real-life settings.

"Black Ops II paints Savimbi as some kind of brute with his halting English and screams, but his English speech and diction was actually very refined," adds the newspaper.

However, this is not the first time Activision Blizzard has been threatened with legal action over the depiction of a real person in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, notes the Daily Telegraph.

In 2014, imprisoned Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega attempted to sue over his own appearance in the game. Activision Blizzard brought in US lawyer Rudy Giuliani to defend the case and the lawsuit was rejected by the Los Angeles Superior Court, under the first amendment right to free expression.

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