Bolivia's foreign ministry has complained to France about the use of the South American nation as a setting for Ubisoft's new title - but Bolivian gamers aren't annoyed by that, they have other issues
Choosing a setting for Ghost Recon: Wildlands was always going to be a tricky issue. We can only imagine the conversation at Ubisoft HQ in Paris.
Senior person 1: "Druglords, everyone hates druglords. They are ideal villians."
Senior person 2: "Mexican druglords are the best ones. They drop people in barrels of acid."
SP1: "Oui, oui. But we can't have them in Mexico."
SP2: "No, too sensitive. The Mexicans would complain to the Americans. There might be protests."
SP1: Opening up map of South America "Colombia?"
SP2: "Fragile peace process with the guerillas, can't have Yankees dropping in by chopper and blowing stuff up. The Colombians would complain to the Americans. There might be protests."
SP1: Draws finger over map until it stops on Bolivia "How about Bolivia? We say they're been invaded by Mexican cartels."
SP2: Looking at wiki page "And they grow a lof of coca. The president is a self-declared 'Cocalero'. If they complain to the Americans, the Americans won't care. Who's going to protest?"
And so it was decided. Yet the Bolivians - understandably - have to France, even threatening legal action. La Paz isn't that happy that the country is being portrayed as an anarchic hellhole that requires violent intervention by the detested Americanos.
Ubisoft has responded by pointing out that at least their game does justice to the country's natural beauty. At least the parts of it you'll be able to see over the piles of bodies.
Bolivian gamers seem a little more relaxed about the situation. It's not the setting that annoys them - it's the fact everything is bloody Mexican - the music, the voices, the overall feel. I mean, we know the story line is about Mexican cartels, but that doesn't mean they've effected a cultural takeover of the country too.
La Paz is 3,250 miles from Mexico City.
As one Bolivian gamer put it: "Hopefully the voice actors sound at least neutral, I've been following the development and it didn't sound too bad, but it was definitely not a local accent. The immersion would be completely messed up if they aren't aware of differences between foreign/Bolivian slang. The whole "Santa Muerte" thing is already too Mexican-related for my taste."
And another: "They kinda failed in other relevant areas. Voice acting is 99.99% Mexican. Music is almost entirely Mexican. If I didn't know any better, this is what a gringo might think of Bolivia. Any south american country = = mexico. Lol."
Still, he did add: "It's funny as f*** seeing cholitas running around when you pop off your gun."
So that's ok then.