Ubisoft is making a documentary about the real-life drug trade in Bolivia

Ghost Recon Wildlands is a game about a team of US special forces operators who head off to the jungles of Bolivia to deliver hot leaded justice to the vicious Santa Blanca drug cartel. To help promote it, the publisher's UK marketing team set about creating a feature-length documentary film based on Rusty Young's book Marching Powder, which concerns the real-life drug trade in Bolivia. 

It sounds like a dubious proposition at best—comparable on the "bad idea scale" to hiring fake protestors to attract attention to your game—but marketing director Mark Slaughter told GamesIndustry that the goal isn't to glamorize the drug trade and war thereon, but to "create a truly compelling piece of content, which could stand alone alongside any documentary in its genre." 

"We wanted to delve further into the game's fictitious narrative and its relevance to South America and the drugs trade today," Slaughter said. "We are certainly looking to introduce the brand to a wider, more mainstream audience through the documentary. As well as attracting a new audience to the franchise, the documentary also provides added content for our existing fans." 

But while the documentary was initially meant as a marketing tool, it and the game are now "very separate products," Slaughter said. "The documentary certainly deals with a very serious subject matter, so we have ensured that we've worked with a leading production team and figures with extensive knowledge of the regions featured in the documentary and the key individuals who have lived in that world." Among them are former cocaine smuggler George Jung, and former US Navy SEAL Adam Newbold. 

The documentary is scheduled to be released on March 6, the day before the release of Ghost Recon Wildlands. GI said Ubisoft is "in talks" to make it available through an online streaming service.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.