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Konami cancels Six Days in Fallujah video game [UPDATED]

April 27, 2009 |  2:12 pm
Six Days in Fallujah
Japanese game publisher Konami has canceled Six Days in Fallujah, a game based on the Iraq battle that was due next year. Credit: Atomic Games via Konami.

Updated, March 30, 2010: Atomic Games, the developer of Six Days in Fallujah, announced it is actively seeking a new publisher for the title. In the meantime, Atomic said it would release another first-person tactical shooter, called Breach, this summer. You can read more details here.

Faced by a storm of criticism from anti-war and pro-military camps alike, Konami has ended its plans to publish Six Days in Fallujah, a video game that re-enacts the Iraq battle of 2004.

"We are no longer doing the title at this time," Anthony Crouts, Konami's vice president of marketing, told The Times today. He did not elaborate. 

Made by Atomic Games, Six Days in Fallujah was being developed with the help of Marines and other soldiers involved in the battle, which the military has said left at least 71 U.S. troops and 1,600 insurgents dead. The game was designed to give players a sense of what it was like to be soldiers in the conflict. As we wrote a few weeks ago when the game was announced:

Today's warriors are more likely to pick up a game controller than a paperback, so it was no surprise that the Marines turned to Atomic Games, a company in Raleigh, N.C., that makes combat simulation software for the military.

"Video games can communicate the intensity and the gravity of war to an audience who wouldn't necessarily be watching the History Channel or reading about this in the classroom," said Mike Ergo, who was in a Marine infantry battalion during the battle in Fallouja and is a consultant on the game.

Despite the active involvement of dozens of Marines in creating the game, critics said that Konami was capitalizing on a war whose wounds were still fresh. Atomic Games President Peter Tamte has not said whether his company would seek another publisher.

-- Alex Pham

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