Six Days in Fallujah is a game about the Iraq war that was canceled by Konami in 2009 due to a controversy over the title’s portrayal of the armed conflict. 11 years later, the game is suddenly back in development by a new studio led by former Bungie employees.
The new version of Six Days in Fallujah was announced yesterday on the game’s official website. According to the press release, it “aims to be the most authentic military shooter to date.” The title is based on the Second Battle for Fallujah that happened in 2004.
Highwire Games is a new studio behind the project. It was co-founded by game designer Jaime Griesemer, who worked on Halo and Infamous, and composer Marty O’Donnell, who is known for his music for Destiny and Halo.
“It’s hard to understand what combat is actually like through fake people doing fake things in fake places,” says Peter Tamte, CEO of publisher Victura. He previously was a co-founder of publisher Destineer and studio Atomic Games, original developers of Six Days in Fallujah.
Highwire Games claims that they consulted over 100 soldiers and Iraqi civilians who shared memories, archive photos, and videos.
Why did Konami cancel the game in 2009?
Konami faced criticism from soldiers’ families, anti-war organizations, and veterans soon after the announcement in 2009. As the level of the controversy raised, the publisher decided to ditch the project.
“After seeing the reaction to the video game in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and email, we decided several days ago not to sell it,” that’s what a Konami representative said at the time.
Six Days in Fallujah was initially promoted as the game that would tell the story of the Second Battle for Fallujah from an American perspective. During that time, people found out that Destineer worked with the CIA and FBI, developing training simulators back in 2005.
However, the announcement of the new version from Highwire Games has drawn warmer reactions so far. Most of the users in the comments under Six Days in Fallujah’s trailer hope that the game would be similar to Spec Ops: The Line, 2012’s shooter about the horror of war.
Unlike gamers, some experts were offended by the announcement. Analyst Daniel Ahmad thinks that the developers are “basing its game on excusing US war crimes.” Indie developer Rami Ismail sticks to the same rhetoric, saying, “I can’t help but worried about another pop-culture pro-USA rewriting of documented war crimes the US committed in that battle.”
Six Days in Fallujah is set for launch on consoles and PC somewhere in 2021.