According to a report by the Associated Press, Pandemic Studios' PlayStation 3 action title Mercenaries 2: World in Flames has raised concerns by supporters loyal to Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez who indicate that they believe the game to be a first step by the United States in an eventual effort to overthrow Chavez.
According to the AP, Congressman Ismael Garcia commented: "I think the U.S. government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later." Mercenaries 2: World in Flames will cast players in a conflict over oil which eventually sparks an invasion of Venezuela that, according to the game's description, "turns the country into a warzone."
According to lawmaker Gabriela Ramirez, the game "gives a false vision of Chavez as a tyrant and Venezuela as being on the verge of chaos", and could be banned by the country by an impending law that aims to keep violent games out of the hands of Venezuelan children.
However, Pandemic publicist Chris Norris also commented in the AP report, stating that while the game was not meant to make a political statement, the designers "always want to have a rip from the headlines." The latest version of the Mercenaries franchise, whose IP is owned by Pandemic, and was published by LucasArts in its first iteration, is due to ship for next-generation consoles later this year.