News has come from Japan that Konami is dropping plans to publish Six Days in Fallujah, the controversial Iraq War game based on the bloody 2004 battle.
Quoting an unnamed P.R. rep, Asahi Shimbun reports that negative reaction to the game in the United States drove Konami’s decision:
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. We had intended to convey the reality of the battles to players so that they could feel what it was like to be there.
North Carolina-based Atomic Games is developing Six Days in Fallujah in association with some veterans of the war. It seems likely that the firm will now seek a deal with a new publishing partner.
Six Days in Fallujah was plagued by negative publicity from the moment that it was announced last month. Family members of war dead denounced the game in both the U.S. and U.K. And while some gamers who are Iraq War veterans expressed an interest in playing Six Days, others were outraged. Dan Rosenthal, who publishes the GamesLaw blog and who fought in Iraq, told GamePolitics:
In order to make the game fun… it simply has to sacrifice some amount of realism for fun factor. When you do that with a war game based on a real war, with real people, you run the risk of dishonoring their memories and sacrifices, and I think that this game has a dangerous potential to do that.
Perhaps the most damning piece of news about Six Days in Fallujah, however, was a developer’s cryptic comment that Iraqi insurgents were contributing to the project.