23rd May 2013, BRISTOL, UK: Newsgame developer GameTheNews.net, today released it's latest offering; a game about the War on Drugs in Mexico entitled NarcoGuerra . GameTheNews.net caused a huge debate following Apple's controversial decision to reject Endgame:Syria from the App Store. This new game examines the ongoing conflict from the perspective of the Mexican authorities trying to stamp out the drug trade within their borders. In NarcoGuerra the player must attempt to retake Mexico's regions from cartels while also dealing with corruption within the police force itself.
As part of the global War on Drugs, the conflict in Mexico escalated around 2008 and since that point the human cost has been very high, with over 80,000 people having been killed. Rawlings defends the use of this as subject matter for a game, "Better that we are talking about this topic and why it is happening, whatever the medium being used, than we turn a blind eye and pretend it is not going on. Games are part of the way we understand the world we live in and I'm really proud of the work we've done on this game as it engages people while expanding that global conversation.”
The game's designer, Tomas Rawlings remarked, "The War on Drugs has been going for over 40 years now and we wanted to explore why that is. In reflecting the world around us a singer might write a song, a filmmaker produces a documentary and a journalist writes an article, as games developers we express our interest via games. But just because our form of expression is through games, this doesn't mean we take the subject any less seriously. This game aims to engage players in the issue and get them to think about why this war is still going on despite the billion spent on it."
NarcoGuerra is now out on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, PC and Mac for $0.99/?0.59/€0.79.
This is the first newsgame that GameTheNews.net have charged for, with all their past titles having been released for free. Rawlings commented on this decision, “This game is the biggest newsgame we've created which has taken a lot of time, effort and expense. Charging a small amount for this title helps us cover the costs of our highly talented development team and funds us to continue creating newsgames, many of which will be free. This is a premium newsgame and I think it is right that its price reflects the efforts to create it. All news organisations have to make income to pay staff – we're no different in that respect.”
Notes for Editors:
Review Copy – there is a review copy of the game online here: http://bit.ly/narcogu3rragame - the username is gtn and password is g3n to access this Unity Player version of the game. If you would like an iOS copy of the game or are having trouble accessing it, do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to resolve the issue.
Press Image Pack – contains screen-shots of the game for all the platforms:
YouTube trailer here: http://bit.ly/narco1youtube
If you would like the raw video file to upload to your own channel it can be found here: http://bit.ly/narcogu3rravid
GameTheNews.net is a project by digital development and consultancy studio Auroch Digital , based at Bristol Games Hub, UK. The project is exploring how games can be developed from news stories. They have produced a number of games on a variety of topics from the US elections to the horse-meat scandal. GameTheNews games can be found here on their site and on Wired and the Huffington Post.
A list of the game's sources can be found here: http://bit.ly/narcogu3rrasources