Six Days in Fallujah is back on the gaming industry radar, more than a decade after it was canceled and its developer shut down. What happened?
Video games often address controversial topics. While most games do so through the lens of a fictional character or story, the upcoming military shooter Six days in Fallujah Take a more direct approach. The highly controversial title is a graphic account of the Second Battle of Fallujah, one of the hottest spots in the Iraq war.
Originally set for a 2010 release, Six days in Fallujah received an immense reaction for its controversial topic. Many soldiers and military families found the game offensive and believe that it glorifies the real-world events it depicts. Atomic games, Six days in Falluja ‘s original developer, ended up canceling the game even though it was in a near-complete state. The negative attention proved too much for the study, forcing him to Six days in Fallujah in the dark corners of the industry for more than a decade.
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Controversial or not, the historical significance of game events it cannot be denied. Towards the end of 2004, a group of American, British and Iraqi soldiers attempted to retake the city of Fallujah after a violent clan of Islamic insurgents captured the city a few months earlier. Fallujah became a stronghold for Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and a breeding ground for Islamic terrorist organizations. Once Fallujah became a hotbed of enemy terrorists and insurgents, the allied forces decided to retake Fallujah with a fierce raid, resulting in several weeks of intense conflict. Allied troops were victorious, but both sides suffered heavy casualties and Fallujah fell in ruins, causing many innocent civilians to lose their homes. The battle became highly publicized, sparking controversy before Six days in Fallujah it was even a concept. It is now remembered as one of the fiercest battles involving American troops since the Vietnam War.
Atomic Games wanted to capture the events of the Second Battle of Fallujah as accurately as possible so that players could learn more about the incident as they played. Although the study was well-intentioned, many military families and peace activists thought Six days in Fallujah took things too far. Some believed that the game undermined the tragic events in Fallujah, while others believed that it would desensitize players to real-world violence. The backlash would grow stronger once news organizations began publishing segments about the game’s controversial content. Relatives of the fallen soldiers began to speak to the press, condemning Six days in Falluja ‘s heavy topic.
Konami was originally on board to publish the game, but would pull away from the project in 2009. Unfortunately, Atomic Games was unable to find another publisher willing to publish such a controversial title. The Iraq war was still a new wound for many involved, which Six days in Fallujah a tough sell. The backlash only intensified once international news caught on in the controversy. After months of harsh criticism and negative press coverage, the backlash was too much for Atomic Games, which ended up shelving the game in 2010. Atomic Games disbanded when parent company Destineer closed down in 2011.
Surprisingly, the story of Six days in Fallujah it doesn’t end there. Highwire Games, a studio formed by ex aura developers who developed the PlayStation VR title Golem, are resurrecting the title 11 years after its cancellation. A new editor, Victura, will handle the game’s launch. The controversy surrounding the original title has subsided considerably, allowing Six days in Fallujah a second chance at life. Although the game likely won’t face the same scrutiny as it did in 2010, Six days in Fallujah it will never completely escape his infamous legacy.
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