Activision faces lawsuit from former Panama dictator

Alleges his likeness was misappropriated to heighten realism in the game

Manuel Noriega, the former Panama dictator, is suing Activision for "deliberately and systematically" misappropriating his likeness for use in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

In the game, which was developed by Treyarch and released in November 2012, the player travels to Panama City in order to capture a target referred to as "False Profit". The character bears a debatable resemblance to Noriega.

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In a lawsuit filed with at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, reported on by Court House News, Noriega claims his likeness was used "without authorization or consent" in order to "increase the popularity and revenue generated by Black Ops 2".

According to Noriega, the game portrayed him as "a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state" and tasked player specifically with hunting him down and capturing him.


"[Activision's] use of [Noriega's] image and likeness caused damage to plaintiff," states the lawsuit.

"Noriega was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff's image and likeness. This caused plaintiffs to receive profits they would not have otherwise received."

Activision's use of Noreiga is designed to "heighten realism in its video game," it is alleged, which "translates directly into heightened sales for defendants".

The former politician and military officer is seeking punitive damages for "lost profits" resulting from Activision's "unjust enrichment, unfair business practices, and violation of common-law publicity rights".


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