According to Bangladeshi news reports, government officials in the country are threatening to serve Sony with a lawsuit, after the company described Bangladesh as a 'terrorist state' in the forthcoming game SOCOM 3
The Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs apparently plans to contact Sony and formally request that all references to the country be removed from the game. The request will also be copied to the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy.
The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) has indicated it supports the government's harsh line, with BASIS president Sarwar Alam commenting that: "Any company can develop games for entertainment of any kind, but not by maligning any country."
Akteruzzaman Manju, president of the Internet Service Providers' Association of Bangladesh, has described Sony’s actions as "tech-terrorism" and has suggested that the game should be banned. "Sony should apologize as it will never be able to prove that Bangladesh is, or was, a terrorist country," he said.
This is not the first time a company has offended a foreign government with its portrayal of terrorist activity in games
. After pressure from Quebec politicians, the American arm of Sony Computer Entertainment had to censor a section of the game Syphon Filter: The Omega Stream
set in a Canadian shopping mall and subway. In addition, the South Korean government refused to approve
the release of Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon 2
, claiming that the storyline within the game goes "way too far" in portraying conflict on the Korean peninsula.
The argument that the game’s portrayal of terrorists fighting to separate Québec from Canada amounted to little more than "hate propaganda", seems to be very close to the Bangladeshi position over SOCOM 3
. Whether Sony will relent in this case as well remains to be seen.