Reuters International

LA PAZ (Reuters) - The Bolivian government has filed a formal complaint with the French embassy about a video game produced by a French company that portrays the South American country as an area controlled by drug traffickers, authorities said.

The game, "Ghost Recon," was produced by France-based Ubisoft Entertainment SA and is set to be officially launched next week. The game's beta version has been downloaded by 6.8 million users.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, government Minister Carlos Romero said Bolivia had delivered a letter to the French ambassador and asked the French government to intervene, adding that Bolivia reserved the right to take legal action.

"We have the standing to do it (take legal action), but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation," Romero said.

In the video game, according to a synopsis, a Mexican drug cartel controls Bolivia and has turned it into a violent, anarchic narco-state.

Bolivia is the world's third-largest producer of coca leaves, used to manufacture cocaine, behind Colombia and Peru.

Romero said that although the game does not mention Bolivia directly, the country is easily identifiable by geographic regions and symbols in the game.

The French embassy in La Paz did not immediately respond to a written request for comment on Thursday. Ubisoft did not immediately respond to voice messages seeking comment at its San Francisco and Montreal offices.

(Reporting by Daniel Ramos and Luc Cohen; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Reuters

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