Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War Vets Brought Game Idea to Developer?

April 28, 2009 -

By now everyone knows that Konami has dropped Six Days in Fallujah like it was radioactive.

But One Last Continue has assembled a remarkable time line on the IP, indicating that the idea for the game was submitted for trademark less than four months after the battle ended. According to Austin Walker of OLC, Destineer - which later acquired Six Days developer Atomic Games - applied for the mark on February 4, 2005. There's no mention of Konami until April 5, 2009 - more than four years later - when the company was announced as the pubilsher of Six Days.

What we find fascinating about these bits of info are their contrast to claims that veterans of the battle came to Atomic, essentially demanding that they create a game based on their Fallujah experiences. Such claims were used to some extent to buttress Six Days against charges that it was insensitive to Iraq War veterans and their families. Moreover, claiming that real combatants were behind the game would surely be a marketing plus as well.

For instance, in the very first article on the game - just before the controversy exploded - the Los Angeles Times reported:

The idea for the game... came from U.S. Marines who returned from the battle with video, photos and diaries of their experiences. Instead of dialing up Steven Spielberg to make a movie version of their stories, they turned to Atomic Games, a company in Raleigh, N.C., that makes combat simulation software for the military...

Today's warriors are more likely to pick up a game controller than a paperback. "The soldiers wanted to tell their stories through a game because that's what they grew up playing," said John Choon, senior brand manager for the game at Konami Digital Entertainment in El Segundo, the publisher of Six Days in Fallujah.

But if the game was already in the planning stage shortly after the battle concluded on December 23rd, 2004 who's kidding who?


Comments

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War Vets

 

Hey Everyone,
Quit the f*n conspiracy theories. I was there when the Marines were working on the game. This is the same company that published First to Fight about Marines fighting terrorists. No one bitched then.
end of discussion.
And to note every Marine i have talked to wants this video game out and could care less what anyone else thinks.
Semper Fi
 

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

Fact: tagging "Semper Fi" onto the end of an internet post proves you're legitimately affiliated with the Marines.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

This is true

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

I know for a fact that when making games based on the battle of Mogadishu (re: Black Hawk Down), Novalogic worked with members of the American military, if only to remain sensitive to the families of fallen soldiers as well as still living soldiers that had been present in that conflict.

I also know for a fact that in creating the entire timeline of Call of Duty games, Activision and Infinity Ward have kept a close working relationship with members of the American military, in a similar attempt to remain sensitive.

Both games try to maintain some level of accuracy, neither game are 100% accurate - they are, after all, a game, and no soldier survives being shot 1,000,000 times, as you do in any of these games.  These days, it's not just Halo-style health regeneration - it's also Call of Duty style health regeneration, set comfortably in the context of "modern warfare".  So there you go.

That said, I don't see the point in Dan Rosenthal's sense of entitlement or outrage (not just Dan, but others like him).  I just don't see the issue with this game, or what merits the controversy.  Someone please explain it to me because I have no clue what everybody is up in arms about.

The so-called controversy with this game smells (to me) a lot more like American pride and ignorance than actual substance.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

Maybe because this war is not over, maybe because it's an illegal war, maybe because some people want to cash in on it or abuse it for their own political ends, maybe because making this game will defuse the question of WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED THERE and turn it into a simple "good vs. evil" fight.

ZAR.

 

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

I can't see any basis for this characterization of this game as an attempt to cash in on the current conflict, or to exploit "their own political ends" - whatever that's supposed to mean?  Especially considering that the game is supposedly based on a series of events from 2004... i.e. 5 years ago.  "Too soon" has always been pretty fuzzy reasoning.

Also not sure how this game (or any piece of entertainment dealing with the subject matter) has any ability to detract from an ongoing dialogue about that conflict or any other of the many questionable wars we find ourselves in at the moment.  That's like saying that "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" runs a slight chance of detracting from questions about our invasion of Iraq.  To say any of those things would just be kind of ridiculous, IMHO.  

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

> I can't see any basis for this characterization of this game as an attempt to cash in on the current

> conflict, or to exploit "their own political ends" - whatever that's supposed to mean?

Politicians are still claiming that this is a "justified" war. Besides, it's actually not over yet. A game that offers you immersion only on the "right" side of the conflict may most certainly have an influence. Or did Konami plan to allow you to play as a civilian or enemy combatant? I don't think so!

> Especially considering that the game is supposedly based on a series of events from 2004... i.e. 5

> years ago.  "Too soon" has always been pretty fuzzy reasoning.

Yeah, they haven't even made a game about My Lai yet. Dude, if they planned to make a game in 1940 about the war in Poland and now was 1944, would my argument make more sense to you?

> Also not sure how this game (or any piece of entertainment dealing with the subject matter)

> has any ability to detract from an ongoing dialogue about that conflict or any other of the

> many questionable wars we find ourselves in at the moment. 

Ever heard about something called "propaganda"?

And, puhlease, don't start with the "it's a game"-"argument" or that they "wouldn't make that kinda fuzz about a movie"! Many people actually DO! And there IS an impact (just think about "23" and the use of torture as an accepted means to an end (also produced by FOX))!

> That's like saying that "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" runs a slight chance of detracting from

> questions about our invasion of Iraq.

Yep. Actually it does! Thanks for giving me the perfect example!

Because, although the game changed (some) names and places it also showed all of the opposition to be ruthless murderers and fanatics - and no civilians. And people DO actually associate. Don't believe me? Read more game forums and find out for yourself! Including blatant racism and idiotic stereotypes I came across the full spectrum of HOW this affects opinions a LOT.

(BTW: Command & Conquer: Generals would have worked far better in your line of argument. But then again, you can also play EVERY side of the conflict in that game and not just ONE.)

> To say any of those things would just be kind of ridiculous, IMHO.

It all depends on how serious a narrative medium you consider games to be. I take them quite serious, since I play them rather a lot.

ZAR.

 

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

I'm sorry, but you've become irrational.  I won't argue with you any longer.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

Or did Konami plan to allow you to play as a civilian or enemy combatant? I don't think so!

From the information I have read about the game, it planned on tellingthe story of the battle from the eyes of not just a US soldier, but also a civilian and an insurgent.

I personally think that you are jumping the gun about the game. If some US soldiers who fought in that battle want to tell their story, do they really have to wait until it is no longer "too soon"?

I think this game could be a really positive tool in created dialogue about the ethical nature of this current war and possibly fuel better support for ending it sooner.

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

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War Vets

According to the Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" the game was in part financed by the CIA.

http://derstandard.at/?id=1240550067111

No further comment.

ZAR.

 

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

i still don't get the controversy over this game. i mean, there was a book, then a movie, then several games all called black hawk down, based on the incident in '93 in somalia. i don't recall any controversy then, and lots of people died or got wounded. it was probably as harrowing as the battle of fallujah.

 

It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

although, funnily enough, when they made the game, they asked the author of the book if they could use his book as reference for the game, and he said no, to "honor the people who fought in that battle". so they then went and talked to former rangers and delta who actually WERE in that battle, and got their info from them.

 

It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

The more info that comes out about this game, it seems like it was more of a marketing-driven run-of-the-mill FPS action game.  Had 6 Days been a truly thoughtful & insightful experience, it would still have a publisher today.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War Vets

This is a lot of much ado about nothing here.  The date of trademark doesn't mean a damn thing.  All that means is that someone went ahead and secured the name after the battle.

I guarantee this is how it likely went down.  Some time after the battle a soldier is talking to a friend who works at Atomic, which would not be unheard of as Atomic has stuff that was being used by the military at the time.  The soldier says, hey this might make a decent game, guy from Atomic agrees.  Keep in mind here that the Black Hawk Down game would have only been a little over a year old at this point.  The guy from Atomic would know this and would then go ahead and grab that name right away so they can then take their time getting the game together.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

I guess it would really come down to, when did the idea for the game as a game (as opposed to a title and vauge concept) come into being?

It is not unheard of for a broad idea to be talked about but the real 'game' ideas do not come up till later.  I could easily see the timeline of:

 

[Major news story with catchy name]

[Executives trademark a name based off the news]

[Execs go to developers saying 'we have a name, make a game based off it']

[Project sits for a while]

[Developer has drinks with a vet, vet goes 'hey, you know what would be cool?']

[Developer brings vets in to hash out what a game based off name might look like]

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

There's no reason it can't. The battle was over, and the vets who fought immediately contacted the company. Makes sense, even if they weren't sent home. Phone calls, letters, so on, especially if they knew someone at the company. Maybe the Marines were planning on getting someone to make a game based on a signifigant experience for them, and they thought Fallujah as good as any. Ideas to make a game may have been forming during the battle. Maybe that's why they kept journals and video records.

On the other hand, if this is such a powerful argument for Atomic, why don't they name the Marines and publicise an interview?

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

 Maybe... but i do agree a bit with the article in that it does seem sketchy... i mean, after going though something like that, one of my first thoughts would not be "hey we should make a video game or something out of this"... not to mention that if i was gonna want to make a game out of it i would most likely go to the makers of "call of duty" or "medal of honor"... also i'd probably aim for a movie depiction instead of a video game... No, i probably wouldn't try doing something like that until long after the battle had passed and after i got back home

Ofcourse that would be ME approaching them... if they approached me on the other hand, i probably would talk about it and go with it

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

You'd be amazed at what goes through your mind during a heated battle (trust me).

My guess is that they wanted people to know what they've been through. They had a story to tell, and being of a gaming generation, cybernatography was what they thought of first. It would also reach a younger generation, one that hadn't had to deal with war yet.

Re: Does Six Days in Fallujah Timeline Nix Claims That War ...

"On the other hand, if this is such a powerful argument for Atomic, why don't they name the Marines and publicise an interview?"

Maybe those Marines want to keep their privacy. I also think it's perfectly pausible that marines had been in touch with Atomic before or shortly after the battle in Fallujah by way of phone calls or emails.

 
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