Faced with criticism from former soldiers, their families and activist groups, Konami Digital Entertainment is scrapping its plans to publish Six Days in Fallujah, a video game that was modeled after some of the most intense fighting during the war in Iraq. Konami planned to release the game in 2010, but once news about Six Days got out, critics in the U.S. and the U.K. slammed the title as insensitive and inappropriate. The roughly month-long conflict in November 2004 left more than 2,000 dead (including Iraqi civilians).
A Konami spokesperson told Japanese newspaper Asahi that the company gave up on the game after seeing the reaction “in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and e-mail.” Groups like Gold Star Families Speak Out put out press releases arguing that “the war is not a game,” and Iraq war vets — some, gamers themselves — panned Six Days as “foolish” (via Kotaku). It’s not clear whether developer Atomic Games will try to find another publisher, or whether Konami also owned rights to the game’s concept.
North Carolina-based Atomic focuses on historically accurate war games; previous titles include D-Day: America Invades and Close Combat: The Russian Front, among others. For Six Days, the studio worked with about three dozen soldiers that had actually seen combat in Fallujah to ensure that the game was realistic; Atomic also talked to Iraqis that were involved in the conflict, but the team told the WSJ that they declined to include commentary from either side to avoid appearing pro- or anti-war.
Photo Credit: riccardo-konami