Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

April 27, 2009 -

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.

Via: VG247


Comments

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

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.

 

And this is unacceptable this time as opposed to the first Gulf War, Black Hawk Down thing, Viet Nam because?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

So much hypocrisy and double standards are happening here.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Yeah the double standard crap has got to stop. Its bullshit that movies can be made about the war but video games can't.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

I still wish there were actual details concerning 'insurgent contribution'.   Did they hire a consultant? Did they work with existing interviews? Did they find someone who had quit?  The details could make a huge differnce.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

I really hope that Atomic Games finds a willing publisher. One that is not afraid of such controversy, but also one that is not neck deep in it already (sorry Take Two, don't want you touching this. This isn't your kind of controversy)

Best of luck and I hope that this game comes out. If it does, I will buy it to support you and salute the troops that helped make it.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Here here. This story needs to be told.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Take Two, maybe? I hope the same thing as you.

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

This cancellation pretty much confirms that this game was little more than a Halo or COD style action game.  If it actually had some real merit in terms of portrayal of a real event like this, then I doubt the game would have been cancelled. 

I see this as Konami being called on it's bluff.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

It wasn't cancelled; Konami can't cancel the game since they were only an interested publisher. It could still come out through someone else.


If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Givign that we knew no more about the game than it's critics, we have no right to make such calls.

ANd Konami has never been, to my knowledge, the target of such people, so they likely had no idea how to deal with it aside from giving in to demands to cancel it.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

I agree that this is probably a new experience for Konami.

But I disagree that "we have no right to make such calls", because of the information we do have to go on: the claims of the developer.  Atomic really put both combat boots in their mouth when they claimed that the game would give players a realistic perspective of the fighting in Fallujah.  They made a promise that, pretty much by definition, they can't keep (unless they're planning to make a game that just isn't fun to play, which is a whole other level of fail so it's rather moot).

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

(unless they're planning to make a game that just isn't fun to play, which is a whole other level of fail so it's rather moot)

That must be an unwritten rule of game development that I am unaware of. I had no idea that all games had to engage the player solely through 'fun'. Here I thought we were striving to be a valid medium and were striving to break away from the stereotype of games are only toys.

There are more ways to engage people in a story. It does not have to be 'fun' or entertaining. If this game wanted to show the dirty truth about what it was like to be there, it would have done so as long as teh gameplay did not hinder that by being broken in any way.

There is nothing wrong with a game making us do things that we would have trouble doing in real life. When  Iwas researching Super Columbine RPG, i read the accounts of several reporters who played the game that had trouble killing the unarmed school students in the game.

This 'game' probably would have been similar. The aspect of marching through Fallujah, not knowing if the people you are shooting are actual insurgents or just citizens who decided not to leave their homes.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

"That must be an unwritten rule of game development that I am unaware of."

It's pretty much a written rule, actually.  The most important question to any game designer is "Is this fun?".  If the answer is "no", then you go back and change it until it is.

"There are more ways to engage people in a story. It does not have to be 'fun' or entertaining."

I'm sorry, EZK, but this statement is false.  Games aren't just for children, but they pretty much do have to be entertaining to be successful.  How does a boring game manage to engage anyone?  Who sticks around for that?

"There is nothing wrong with a game making us do things that we would have trouble doing in real life."

It's not about making us do things we would have trouble doing in real life.  Shooting a baby?  Sure, go for it.  Sitting in a foxhole for six hours, real-time, nerves-on-edge?  Simulating an IED being tossed into your camp in the middle of the six-hour simulated "night-time" session?  How about being shot?  HOW is the game going to let you experience the fear and pain of being shot on the battlefield, and having to continue fighting?  Pain is an integral part of the experience of combat; you can't say you're letting the player experience what it was like to be there if they're able to just shrug off a gunshot, or a limb being blown off.

I stand by my statement that claiming this game would allow players to experience what Fallujah was like was a non-trivial mistake.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

"Pain is an integral part of the experience of combat; you can't say you're letting the player experience what it was like to be there if they're able to just shrug off a gunshot, or a limb being blown off."

 

not 100% the same thing, but it would be a heck of a deterrent to getting shot in game.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/08/electric_shock_game_controller/

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

It's not about making us do things we would have trouble doing in real life.  Shooting a baby?  Sure, go for it.  Sitting in a foxhole for six hours, real-time, nerves-on-edge?  Simulating an IED being tossed into your camp in the middle of the six-hour simulated "night-time" session?  How about being shot?  HOW is the game going to let you experience the fear and pain of being shot on the battlefield, and having to continue fighting?  Pain is an integral part of the experience of combat; you can't say you're letting the player experience what it was like to be there if they're able to just shrug off a gunshot, or a limb being blown off.

How does a movie or a book do any of that? Through clever use of their specific storytelling methods. You can convey pain through the use of human empathy. By making the player care about not only the NPCs but also the character they control, you can convey those feelings quite well. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have felt empathy toward a character in a book I was reading or a movie I was watching. Great story telling is how you convey those feelings.

I'm sorry, EZK, but this statement is false.  Games aren't just for children, but they pretty much do have to be entertaining to be successful.  How does a boring game manage to engage anyone?  Who sticks around for that?

Did I say the game could only be boring if it wasn't 'fun'? Or did I say that a game that did not entertain through 'fun' was boring? No. I said there were more ways to engage a player than through 'fun'. I related SCRPG and the reporters experiences playing the 'game' They did not have 'fun' killing unarmed students, but the game was written and designed in a way that engaged the player.

Believe it or not, but it is possible to engage people without having to resort to making something 'fun'. Movies, books and television shows do this all the time. They do not sacrifice production value when they decide not to make their experience 'entertaining'. There are certainly many of those that have kept me engaged in reading or viewing them even though I wasn't having 'fun'. They can keep me engaged through the use of educational value, empathy, regret, fear, anger, sadness etc. Most people don't associate many of those feelings with 'fun' nor boredom.

So why is it that all these other mediums can convey emotion and engage their audience without resorting to antiquated systems of 'fun' and 'entertainment' while games are pigeonholed into those two or they are considered crap?

EDIT: What I am getting at is that engaging the player is the ultimate goal of any game. By engaging a player, you insure that they will continue playing the game, or continuing in the experience. 'Fun' is certainly one way to engage the player, but it is not the only way.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Bah.  I had an extensive reply to this typed up, but I just can't bring myself to have arguments on the internet over crap like this anymore.

Enjoy your wargame.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

As far as I recall, Konami has never really had any experience in controversy. Nothing comes to mind that would have prepared them to deal with this fallout. So I think they just panicked and ran rather than toughed it out.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Are Rock* publishers or devs?

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Rockstar is a development house. Their games are published by Take Two.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

D'oh, yeah of course. I bet T2 would make a go of this, not like they'd be too worried about the controversy. Alternately get someone big and relatively respectable like EA involved and that might lessen the controversy... until the DRM is found.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

I thought that Rockstar Games was a publisher, whilst Rockstar North (and the others such as London) are the developers. Take Two just own Rockstar.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

*faceplams* They caved, they fucking caved....

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

I would have played it too. Would have helped me figure out what I was going to be dealing with if I ever got conscripted into the army.

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"The sun ever rises on the morrow. We can only live for today, and trust that other days will follow." -Unknown

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

 It sucks; well not all units but if you get stuck in a dumb one all you can think about is holy shit these guys are idiots and I have to trust them with my life hell I can't even trust them to take out the garbage without screwing it up oh god oh god BREATHE BREATHE =P.  This was just a quick taste but the main reason I got the fuck out.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Yeah, but unless you can control who gets forced into the army and who doesn't, then knowing what to face is the next best thing.

-----------------------------



"The sun ever rises on the morrow. We can only live for today, and trust that other days will follow." -Unknown

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

 True, a volunteer army is a lot better than draft at least with a volunteer army it was my choice to be there.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Agreed. I like having the choice to join or not.

-----------------------------



"The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Disappointing, isn't it? it's not like they can't have anticipated that there would be opposition.

Shame, it would have been one of the first military shooters I was planning to buy...

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Indeed.

We ketp hearign cries of "it'll dishonor soldiers it'll disrespect the dead" but if anyone ever looked at Konami's past works, it would shwo that they indeed do pay a great deal of respect to current and past events.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

I think I'll cry the day video games are universally respected on the same level as other mediums.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Seriously?  I would be ecstatic.  But I think this goes back to the age old question, "Are Video Games Art?"

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Go Censorship Go Censorship its your birthday its your birthday.

Yay for whinning until things you disagree with or don't like are pulled.

God Im so happy I think I might burn a book that portrays stuff in a light I don't like ... hell I might burn two maybe three oh screw it Im burning the whole darn library.

 

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Thanks for proving once again that game devs can't win, no matter what they do.  If they put the game out, zomg they're making light of a serious war!  And if they don't, zwtf censorship!  Get outta here with that noise.

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

 Note you are saying "game devs" this was a decision by the publishers not the game devs.  So yes its CENSORSHIP.  The game developers didn't say hey we aren't going to make this game because we find the concept horrible nope it was their publisher who said we aren't going to release this game because of whinning.  So you get outta here with your Noise.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Holy crap, dude.  NOT CENSORSHIP.  A company saying "we don't want to say this" is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from saying "you can't say this".

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Sorry, lumi, but that's not what's going on at all.  Konami wanted to say something by releasing the game.  Someone opposed, saying, "look, we really don't know what you're going to say, but we think it's going to be bad, so we pre-emptively want you to shut up".  To which Konami replied, "okay, I'll be quiet..." instead of, "hear me out before you bash me for wanting to say something".

Please read the first paragraph of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-censorship.  This is exactly what happened here.  Last I checked, the final ten letters of "self-censorship" were still "censorship".  The term "chilling effect" also comes to mind.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

We saw groups of tin cans making noise over a game they knew next to nothing about aside from it's subject matter. These tin cans made preconcieved judgements about a game they knew next to nothing about. These tin cans are looking at this news and believe themselves to be dumpsters when all that the two have in common is the trash and filth inside.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Also, this is less cencorship and more the decision not to waste money devloping a highly controversial game that might loose a ton of money and make you look bad. 

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Censorship? People expressed their opinion of the idea, and the publisher listened to them. That's not censorship.

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

The developers on the otherhand did not. It's publisher censoring instead of federal. Our rights are suffering eitherway. So much for freedom. Semper Fi, guys.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

What kind of twisted logic is that?  It was a business decision.

If the government had stepped in and said "you can't publish this, people will be mad", THAT would be censorship.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

 Its called self censorship; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-censorship .

Its still censorship; so burn a book.

Cesnorship will set you free ... it will make you sing =).

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

So in other words, any time you're doing something, and people tell you it's a bad idea, it's censorship? And if you listen to them and realize you're doing something that's not to your benefit, that you really don't want to do, it's self-censorship?

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

 No thats called changing your mind; on the other hand if you don't do something because you fear bad PR or being criticized by society then you are doing Self Censorship.  

A good example would be Global Warming; you might have some great evidence debunking it but you instead choose to not realese it for fear of being insulted on the public stage that is called Self Censorship.  

There are several examples in the world most anything labeled Politically Incorrect is a great one to look into on when and how it has caused Self Censorship (if not just down right good old Censorship).

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

"Our rights are suffering eitherway. So much for freedom."

Still not seeing how this is a matter of our federal rights or freedoms being violated.  Konami said "sorry, we don't want our name on this, it's not worth the negative PR anymore".

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

As long as you own them, go wild.

 

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

 One of my favorite moments was the Harry Potter burning; they went out and bought all the books they could find to burn them because of the witch craft in it.  The irony is that those are still book sales which then makes the publisher think the book is awesome so they make more.

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in ...

Or the moment when the Dixie Chicks said bad things about President G Dubya Bush and so everyone rushed out to buy there CDs so they could destroy them.

Funny thing is that those people are still moaning and groaning over what they said.  These are BTW the same people who are saying much worse things about President Barack Obama.

God I love living in the South -_-;;

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

Yeah, people don't give a crap if you destroy the stuff you bought from them...the money's already in their bank.

GameSnooper

Re: Troubled by Controversy, Konami Drops Six Days in Fallujah

"We had intended to convey the reality of the battles to players so that they could feel what it was like to be there."

Because nothing gets across the chaos and emotion of hellish combat like regenerating health.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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