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Although David Petraeus stepped down as CIA director amid the scandal surrounding his extramarital affair, he’s been promoted elsewhere — as secretary of Defense in the new video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Black Ops II, released Tuesday, is the latest installment in Activision’s best-selling franchise and features Petraeus’ name and likeness. Written by David S. Goyer and Treyarch game director Dave Anthony, it blends a fictional story around real people from the late ‘80s like Manuel Noriega and a potential future 2025.
A clip, via the gaming website Kotaku, shows Petraeus facing down a terrorist prisoner aboard the USS Barack Obama; another scene features him being attacked by enemy aircraft alongside President Bosworth, a female commander in chief with a Hillary Clinton haircut, while the two are aboard a military plane flying over a war-torn Los Angeles.
(Warning: spoilers ahead.)
Petraeus appears in a few key cinematics in Black Ops II, beginning with a sequence onboard the USS Barack Obama with Admiral Tommy Briggs, played by actor Tony Todd. Actor Jim Meskimen is credited with voicing Petraeus in the game.
Briggs: “I have a thousand drones waiting at standby alert ready to launch at my command. If Russia or SDC gets any bright ideas, make no mistake, Secretary Petraeus, your Armed Forces are ready.”
Petraeus: “The last order to DEFCON 3 was given by Secretary Rumsfeld almost 25 years ago.”
Briggs: “I know. I flew a patrol myself.”
Petraeus, a four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, resigned his CIA post Friday after admitting he’d had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Another woman, Jill Kelley, a Petraeus family friend based in Tampa, Fla., was the catalyst for an FBI investigation that revealed the relationship after she complained of harassing e-mails sent to her by Broadwell.
This video game’s performance capture was completed months ago at House of Moves in Los Angeles, and the game’s original story was crafted long before the Petraeus affair ruined his career.
According to Michael Pachter, video game analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, “All incremental publicity is good.” The analyst forecasts that Activision will sell 20 million copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops II worldwide before the end of the year.
A statement from Activision to The Hollywood Reporter reads:
“General Petraeus was not paid, was not involved in the creation of the game, and has not been asked to endorse the game. Call of Duty: Black Ops II and its fictional storylines are aimed at providing fun and enjoyment. It is clear to game players that his character and others that are based on real-life figures are fantasy.”
“Including Gen. Petraeus and other real-life figures was strictly a creative decision made many months ago when the storyline was drafted. We are not commenting further on the latest news or Gen. Petraeus. His service to his country and career accomplishments are a matter of public record.”
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