Activision has given an official response to ex-Dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega, and he’s not going to like it. For those wondering, Noriega launched a lawsuit against Activision over Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a game where he is a Non-Playable Character. Noriega alleges that Activision used his name and likeness without permission to, “increase sales.”
Well, Activision has brought in some big guns to handle the case. The mega-publisher has recruited former New York City Mayor and US Attorney Rudy Giuliani to handle the case. Giuliani will attempt to have the case thrown out under Free Speech laws, and claim that Activision had the right to use Noriega’s likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
“What’s astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty. Quite simply, it’s absurd,” said Giuliani in a press release. “I’m not interested in giving handouts to a convicted murderer and drug smuggler like Manuel Noriega who is demanding money from Activision and its popular Call of Duty franchise for simply exercising its right to free speech. Noriega’s attack on the rights of Call of Duty comes as no surprise considering he’s a lawless tyrant who trampled over the rights of his own people.”
Manuel Noriega is not the first, or likely the last government official to be included in a Call of Duty game. Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon have also been portrayed, among others. The lawsuit by Noriega mirrors another lawsuit going on between Lindsay Lohan and Rockstar over whether the latter had permission to use Miss. Lohan’s likeness to create an in-game character.