War game based on real-life battle will finally release this year
Konami’s cancelled Iraq war game Six Days in Fallujah has been revived.
The action game, which was due to depict the real-life Iraq battle via a mix of gameplay and interview footage from marines who were there, was cancelled in 2009 due to criticism from the press, British military veterans and anti-war groups.
Now, Victura – a publisher formed by the CEO of original developer Atomic Games – has announced that the game is back in development at Highwire Games, the studio founded by Bungie veterans by Jaimie Griesemer, Jared Noftle and Marty O’Donnell. It will release this year for consoles and PC.
According to the announcement, Six Days in Fallujah remains a first-person tactical military shooter based on “true stories” from the Second Battle for Fallujah in 2004.
Victura claims it’s been working in partnership with frontline Marines and Soldiers who fought in the Battle for Fallujah, and says its intention with Six Days is to “bring players closer to the uncertainty and tactics of modern combat” than other video games have explored.
Over 100 Marines, Soldiers, and Iraqi civilians who were present during the Second Battle for Fallujah have shared their personal stories, photographs, and video recordings with the development team, it claims. The game presents these stories through original documentary interview footage.
“It’s hard to understand what combat is actually like through fake people doing fake things in fake places,” said Victure CEO Peter Tamte in a prepared statement.
“This generation showed sacrifice and courage in Iraq as remarkable as any in history. And now they’re offering the rest of us a new way to understand one of the most important events of our century. It’s time to challenge outdated stereotypes about what video games can be.”
James Cowgill, Six Days’ original producer, told Variety in 2018 that the game was first cancelled because its real-world content and media coverage scared Konami higher-ups.
“Basically, once Konami Japan realized they had a controversial game on their hands, everything just went quiet from Konami. The support just dropped,” he said. Because Konami cancelled the contract, the game’s rights then reverted back to the developer.
In 2009, Tim Collins OBE, a former colonel famed for an eve-of-battle speech in 2003, claimed it was “much too soon” to make a video game about a war that was still going on.
“It’s particularly insensitive given what happened in Fallujah, and I will certainly oppose the release of this game,” he said.
Victura said on Thursday that it was aiming to make Six Days in Fallujah “the most authentic military shooter to date” and to tell its military and civilian stories “with the integrity they deserve.”