Mercenaries 2 in Hot Water? ...Or is that Hot Oil?
The lawmakers were chiefly concerned over the game being set in their home country of Venezuela, questioning the motives behind such a move. They even went so far as to claim that the development of Mercenaries 2 has been influenced by the American government which seeks to depose the country's eccentric president, Hugo Chavez.
Though the proposition may seem absurd, Chavez has been an open and confrontational critic of the Bush administration. Last year he offered to subvert conventional distribution means by supplying oil directly to certain US cities at reduced prices. One of the lawmakers, Gabriela Ramirez, complained, "...[Mercenaries 2] gives a false vision of Chavez as a tyrant and Venezuela as being on the verge of chaos. She said the game could be banned under a proposed law aimed at protecting Venezuelan children from violent video games."
Apparently Venezuelan officials play video games as often as US politicians do.
Pandemic PR rep Chris Norris responded to the claims: "Although a conflict doesn't necessarily have to be happening, it's realistic enough to believe that it could eventually happen."
The developers do not plan to deviate from their plans for the game despite the hub-bub, but considering the history of Russian, German, Chinese, and use of other convenient ethnic baddies in games, it's doubtful Pandemic has any real malicious plans for Latin America.
5/25/2006 Cavin Smith