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Backlash Forces Konami To Scrap ‘Six Days in Fallujah’

imageFaced 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

10 Responses to “Backlash Forces Konami To Scrap ‘Six Days in Fallujah’”

  1. "I’d argue that movies “minimize the reality of an ongoing war and at the same time profit off the deaths of people close to us by making it ‘entertaining’,” as GSFSO states, more than video games."

    I think any time you portray war in any medium, whether movies or video games, we minimize the reality of an ongoing (or past) war and profit off the deaths of people by making it 'entertaining'. The issue isn't so much the scale of how much it minimizes the reality or makes it entertaining. It's simply the fact that as we watch the movies or play the video games, we'd never be able to fully understand the pain and anguish of families and friends who have lost loved ones in a war.

  2. I think there are a few reasons why people are so outraged about this (not that I agree with any of them):

    1 – The war in Iraq is still going on. While Vietnam and WWII still influence many people's lives today, some of those old scars have healed. With soldiers coming home injured (and dying) right now, maybe it feels sacrilegious to have a "game" out already.

    2 – Everyone didn't support this war. (I imagine that if a Vietnam-based game came out back then, people would've also been outraged). WWII and other wars have an air of proud nostalgia around them — the Iraq has more ambivalence.

    3 – Video games are still a "new" medium, so they're targeted in ways that other media (like books and films) aren't. People may be comfortable having their kids sit and watch a film like Jarhead, but give a kid a controller (essentially a "gun") and put him/her in the mindset of a soldier at war, and parents get antsy.

    Again, these are just some of the reasons I think that there was so much backlash. I'm not sure whether it's all justified, though.

  3. This Is Crap

    War games are by the hundreds on video game stores shelves

    The only honest and true game that represents the reality of war is canceled

    then this is bull#$%#

  4. War is not a game, huh? Fair enough, but war must be entertainment. If not, why aren't these groups targeting filmmakers and the dozens of war movies that are made every year? Simulated scripted violence: acceptable. Simulated interactive violence: unacceptable?

    Just because it's a video game doesn't make the horror of war trivial. Games, nowadays, are approaching interactive movies. That simulated first person control of your own destiny makes the experience much more terrifying than watching it unfold as a distant observer. I'd argue that movies "minimize the reality of an ongoing war and at the same time profit off the deaths of people close to us by making it 'entertaining'," as GSFSO states, more than video games.

  5. Anthony

    I didn't hear any outcry when Eidos and Pivotal games put out their "Conflict Desert Storm" and "Conflict Desert Storm II" games. Whats the difference?

    What about the Vietnam games??? Or the Civil and Revolutionary war games for that matter? More people were killed in those wars then in any modern arena.

    Also, there are issues with a factual war game, but we allow gangster cop-killer games to be made with no problems??? Nice.

  6. Spys2004

    ok i understand that some groups could be mad at this but look at this as a history type game look how many world war 2 games there are and how many people died during that war yet there have been no blash towwards them call of duty 4 brought out a look in to modern combat the same we have to day but it was fictious one group decieds to bring a aa game based off of tre events and get first hand count from both sides that is some good work let it be a detication to those who lost there lives this could tell there story of how they fought to bring peace to the aera of iraq

  7. US developer, Japanese publisher.

    Call Of Duty 4 is an awesome recruitment tool for the US military (Marines are in the game) because it makes war out to be a game. The player can be a hero. War is fast-paced, action-packed, and players who are very good can dominate the battle field and "never die."

    Six Days would have the power to teach a generation of gamers that war is not a game. We can't have that, can we?

  8. What's the difference between this and a historical war game? No one bats an eye at basing a game off of say Stalingrad – and let's compare casualties there.

  9. What's the difference between this and the umpteen other modern war games? Apparently nobody played Call of Duty 4. I'm supposing because is being made by a Japanese developer and is about a specific event which somehow still holds some sensitive relevance that it's so controversial.