Konami Cancels Six Days in Fallujah

According to the LA Times, Konami has ended production of its upcoming game, Six Days in Fallujah. The game was originally slated to be a shooter that placed players in the events of the Iraq battle of 2004.

Six Days in Fallujah was being developed by Atomic Games, and was designed to give players a view of what the soldiers in Fallujah experienced. There were a number of Marines involved in creating the game, which is not surprising considering Atomic Games’ background as a producer of combat simulation software for the US military.

Unfortunately, a firestorm of criticism from groups that are both anti-war and pro-military ignited. Critics blasted Konami for attempting to ‘capitalize’ on a war that was still fresh in the minds of those who were there, and the families of those who gave their lives there.

Anthony Crouts, Vice President of Marketing for Konami, said simply, “We are no longer doing the title at this time.” No word yet on whether Atomic Games will seek another publisher for the title.

While I can see why a few people would be incensed at the production of this game, I really cannot understand why Konami would cave to this type of pressure. After all, games are constantly set in real life conflicts. Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4 was set in a number of conflicts, including the war in Iraq, and no one seemed to be incensed at that.

Plus, the involvement of US Marines (many of whom were in Fallujah) in the game’s production would seem to indicate a desire to do justice not only to the experience, but to the people who served there.

johnpic2I remember attending E3 in 2005, where I had the distinct privilege of sitting down and interviewing US Army Ranger SFC John Collett. He had been serving as a Ranger in the US Army during the Black Hawk Down incident, and he survived the rescue that is depicted in the game and the movie. When I spoke with him, he was serving as the military consultant for Novalogic’s video game adaption of Black Hawk Down.

SFC Collett was excited to have the opportunity to show gamers what those brave men had experienced. He was committed to making sure that the game was a faithful recreation, but one that was respectful to the brave soldiers who had fallen in the action.

I can’t help but think that this attitude would be shared by those Marines who were working on Six Days in Fallujah. Here’s hoping that Atomic Games finds themselves another publisher, so we can see what they’ve brought to life.

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