Konami surprised many in early April when it announced its intent to publish Atomic Games' Six Days in Fallujah, a realistic military shooter designed to accurately re-create one of the most violent conflicts in the ongoing Iraq War. However, less than three weeks later the publisher caved to vocal outcry surrounding the game. "After seeing the reaction to the video game in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and e-mail, we decided several days ago not to sell it," Konami told Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun.
Shortly following Konami's abrupt announcement, Atomic Games CEO Peter Tamte told GameSpot that the move "caught us by surprise." In a recent interview with North Caronlina's The News & Observer, Tamte responded to the furor surrounding the title, saying that his studio's intent was to create relevant, artistic content.
"Every form of media has grown by producing content about current events, content that's powerful because it's relevant," Tamte told The News & Observer. "Movies, music, and TV have helped people make sense of the complex issues of our times. Are we really just high-tech toymakers, or are we media companies capable of producing content that is as relevant as movies, music, and television?"
Tamte, whose company also creates a variety of training simulators for the US Marine Corps, went on to say that many of the soldiers who fought in the actual First Battle of Fallujah in April 2004 asked Atomic to create a game based on the conflict.
"Six Days in Fallujah is not about whether the US and its allies should have invaded Iraq," Tamte said. "It's an opportunity for the world to experience the true stories of the people who fought in one of the world's largest urban battles of the past half-century. ... It is the dilemmas you face, and the choices you make, that give you insight into the events that are shaping our world in a way that no passive form of media can. We hope that Six Days in Fallujah will have the opportunity to change expectations of what a video game can be."
Prior to Konami's decision to walk away from the project, Six Days in Fallujah had been slated for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in 2010. Tamte provided no update on whether those plans had changed.Watch the video