In a surprisingly chicken shit move, Konami has decided it will no longer be publishing Atomic Games’ controversial title. Six Days in Fallujah was going to be an ambitious action game that took players inside the second battle of Fallujah that occurred in late 2004. Endorsed by former marines who had served in the conflict and aspiring to show players what it was really like to be involved in the battle, from the eyes of marines, insurgents and civilians, the game showed real promise.
It seems that in the planning stages for the game it had never occurred to Konami that the idea of basing a game on a war that was still ongoing might generate a bit of controversy. Or perhaps it did, but they didn’t anticipate the extent of it.
Veterans and families of fallen soldiers all chimed in to immediately demonize the game based entirely off its premise and setting. They seemed to be oblivious to the fact that war games already exist as their reasons for demanding a ban on Fallujah typically cited that having a game based on war automatically meant trivializing the lives lost and brutality of battle.
While writing a book or making a movie based on these events wouldn’t be considered trivial, video games still fall into that murky territory of not being a real media outlet in the minds of many consumers.
It seems like all the controversy finally got to Konami who told Japanese newspaper Asahi, “After seeing the reaction to the videogame in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and e-mail, we decided several days ago not to sell it.”
The third-person shooter was due for release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2010. No word yet if Atomic Games will seek another publisher for the title, but hopefully they will see this project through. I honestly believe that if done correctly this title could do a lot to further the way video games are viewed as an entertainment medium. If only Konami had as much faith in the future of their business as I do.
Written for Scrambled Pixel on 4/27/09.