Ever fantasize about being in a shoot-out with murderous cartel members in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico? This summer, the video game company Ubisoft is scheduled to release “Call of Juarez: The Cartel,” the latest installment in the “Call of Juarez” series. A couple of real life Texas lawmen are already expressing worries about the game.
Ubisoft’s website says the first-person shooter will bring “the lawlessness of the Old West into present day.”
You’ll embark on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico immersing yourself in a gritty plot with interesting characters and a wide variety of game play options.
Take justice into your own hands in this modern Western shooter.
Further information about the game is not available, but a picture on the company’s Facebook page shows heavily armed characters walking down the street in a bleak urban setting.
In interviews with The Brownsville Herald, Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia and Cameron County, Tex. Sheriff Omar Lucio both said they weren’t personally familiar with the game, but from the title alone they said it sounded like a bad idea.
“Unfortunately there are companies that are looking to capitalize on the violent situation in Mexico which has had a very negative impact on the country,” Garcia said.
“The title itself leads one to believe that the game deals with narcotic trafficking organizations,” Lucio said. “Games like these create a false idea in the minds of teenagers who are still developing and may grow up and want to imitate these characters. Sadly enough these kind of games are protected by freedom of speech, but the violence that comes from cartels is not a game and it affects us all.”
In a statement to TPM, Ubisoft said it was trying to create a “unique” experience for players:
Call of Juarez the Cartel is purely fictional and developed by the team at Techland for entertainment purposes only. While Call of Juarez the Cartel touches on subjects relevant to current events in Juarez, it does so in a fictional manner that makes the gaming experience feel more like being immersed in an action-movie than in a real-life situation. Ubisoft is an entertainment company and our intention is to create a unique experience for video game fans.
321 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez since the start of 2011, according to New Mexico State University research librarian Molly Molloy, who keeps a tally based on press reports.
Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com