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Six Days in Fallujah video game partly resurrected as Breach

March 30, 2010 |  9:50 am


Among avid players of games such as the Call of Duty or Medal of Honor series, a game titled Six Days in Fallujah has achieved some notoriety, even though it's never been published.

Originally slated for launch this year, the game's Japanese publisher, Konami, canceled Six Days in Fallujah after protesters accused it of exploiting the Iraq war. The developer, Atomic Games, soldiered on for several months after Konami backed out, but a lack of funds eventually halted work on the project.

The story would have ended there, except that hundreds of people -- many of them Marines who served in Iraq -- wrote to Atomic urging the developer to complete the game and release it.

After maintaining radio silence on the matter for months, Atomic's president, Peter Tamte, last week issued two bits of news on that front. 

The first is that Six Days in Fallujah is not dead. Atomic is actively seeking a publisher for the title. Even if it succeeds in negotiating a publishing deal, however, the game would not be available this year.

Breach Logo In the meantime, Atomic's announced, it will release a first-person tactical shooter called Breach on Xbox Live this summer. It's an online multi-player game in which two teams go at each other.

Its premise is different than Six Days in Fallujah, which is based on the famous battle in 2004 that resulted in the deaths of 38 Marines and about 1,200 Iraqis. Breach's game engine, however, came from Six Days in Fallujah. That gave Breach the same visceral sense of ground-level urban warfare that characterized Six Days in Fallujah.

Priced at $15, the game comes with four maps, or levels. Players can wield virtual military-grade weapons and spy gadgets. Think paintball, but with a lot more destruction. Breach currently is only available as a download for those who own the Xbox 360 console, but Tamte says it contains features of a blockbuster $60 game sold at retail stores. Tamte should know. He was executive vice president of Bungie Software, the company that created the Halo franchise.

How can Atomic afford to price its game so low? Partly because the Raleigh, N.C., company also happens to build combat simulation systems for the U.S. military, so it was able to leverage some of the same expertise into the game. And partly because the game got a heart transplant from Six Days in Fallujah in the form of a fully baked software engine.

"Breach would not have been possible without Six Days in Fallujah," Tamte said.

-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.

Photo: A screen shot from Breach, a first-person tactical shooter. Credit: Atomic Games