U2 frontman Bono has become embroiled in the political furor surrounding Pandemic's sequel to the LucasArts hit Mercenaries
, with the mass media picking up on his involvement with the developer regarding the game's depiction of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela.
Well-known for his charitable work, Bono is also rumored to be a keen video game player, and is one of the managing partners of private equity firm Elevation Partners, which last year bought majority stakes in developers BioWare Corp. and Pandemic
, in the process creating one of the industry's first "super developers", with a new holding company called BioWare/Pandemic Studios.
Next generation sequel Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
, which has not yet been picked up by any publisher, has already caused controversy due to its depiction of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela, which acts as a backdrop to the game. This led to a number of Venezuelan politicians criticizing the game
, in a similar manner to the negative comments from North Korea
following the portrayal of that country in the first game.
Although attempts by the Belfast Telegraph and others to contact Bono regarding the issue have failed to receive any response, Jeff Cohen, author of Cable News Confidential has commented to New York Post gossip site Page Six, "It's hard to fathom why an artist who claims to be about new paths to justice for developing countries would be mixed up in a computer game that glorifies stale, old mercenary approaches."
The site also also quotes The Case for Impeachment co-author Dave Lindorff as saying, "This kind of right-wing war game plays to the propaganda message that the Bush White House has been pushing for years: that Chavez is a dictator oppressing his people... Bono should use his financial interest in the company to kill it, or better, he should pull out entirely as an investor, and condemn such imperialist garbage."