10 Gaming Moments That Led To Massive Lawsuits

Do you smell that? That, my friend, is the smell of money - I mean, um - justice.

Dk Vs Gozilla
Nintendo Universal

The second a new industry begins to make money, there will be two reactions.

Other industries will see the potential amount of money they're leaving on the table. They'll quickly staff a new subsidiary and race to catch up to the industry's originators as quickly, and as cheaply, as possible.

Or, someone will see that same amount of money on that same table, and just try and take it. Enter the civil lawsuit.

Of course, suing someone isn't always a cynical cash grab. People and companies have every right to protect and profit off of their own creations, and if someone is infringing on that right, then they're left with little choice but to sue. In some cases, this could even establish legal precedent that didn't previously exist, influencing the industry forever.

However, this is not always the case. And as video games grow in popularity, so too grows the controversy surrounding them. And where there's controversy around a popular form of entertainment, you can bet the lawyers will not be far behind.

These are ten video game lawsuits that will always live in infamy, either for the amount of money involved, legal importance, or just plain insanity.

10. Manuel Noriega Vs. Activision

Dk Vs Gozilla
Activision

No, you don't have something crazy in your eyes. In 2014 Manuel Noriega - yes, THAT Manuel Noriega - sued Call of Duty publisher Activision for using his name and likeness in Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.

For those who don't know, Manuel Noriega was the dictator of Panama from 1983 - 1989 and a willing CIA asset. He quickly turned to drug trafficking and other crimes to further consolidate his power, until he lost U.S. support and was captured, tried and convicted.

He appears briefly in Black Ops II as a temporary ally to the player.

Noriega sued Activision for violating his Right of Publicity, a law that prevents using someone else's name or likeness for commercial purposes. Noriega sought an undisclosed amount of damages in the form of lost profit from the game's sales.

The suit was dismissed, as depicting real people in fiction is protected under the First Amendment. It would be different if Activision had prominently featured him in the advertising of the game, as that would be in the express interest of generating profit from his notoriety.

And that's the story of one of the world's most infamous dictators suing a video game in civil court.

In this post: 
Donkey Kong
 
Posted On: 
Contributor

At 34 years of age, I am both older and wiser than Splinter.