Activision Blizzard is reportedly being sued in French court over what the family of deceased Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi claim is an inappropriate depiction of the man in Treyarch’s 2012 release Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Notably, this comes less than a year and a half after Activision prevailed in a very similar lawsuit filed by former Panamanian dictaator Manuel Noriega over his depction in the very same game.
That lawsuit was deemed “frivolous” by an L.A. Superior Court judge in California, but this new lawsuit is filed by children of Savimbi living in France against the French branch of Activision Blizzard.
“France has extremely strict laws on both defamation and a person’s rights of publicity – in other words, the right to control the commercial use of their likeness,” London-based lawyer Alex Tutty told The Guardian. “In cases such as this, where a well-known person is either depicted or has provided inspiration for a character, it is not surprising that someone aggrieved by it is able to formulate the basis of a legal argument.”
The family of Savimbi is seeking €1 million (or ~$1.09 million USD) in damages from Activision, which Savimbi family lawyer Carole Enfert alleged depicted the deceased rebel leader as a “big halfwit” in Black Ops II (pictured.)