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back to article Konami nixes Six Days in Fallujah

Konami is backing away from its plans to release a video game that was to authentically depict the Second Battle of Fallujah after receiving numerous protests from retired US troops, their families and citizens' groups. The game publisher told the Asahi Shimbun today it's canceling plans to publish Six Days in Fallujah, a " …

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Paris Hilton

What? Afraid to hurt americans feelings?

C'mon since when do people feelings matter to (violent/war) game makers?

Sorry I had forgotten they don't... as long as america wins...

Paris because... she always wins.

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Flame

Damned if you do...

Movies:

1) Interview all sides of a terrible scenario to gain perspective

2) Write script based on what you've learned

3) Create compelling visuals that draw the viewer into the experience

4) Ensure that the viewer leaves with challenging views and a changed perspective

...

5) Win awards

6) Be commended for contributing to the art

Games:

1) Interview all sides of a terrible scenario to gain perspective

2) Write script based on what you've learned

3) Create compelling visuals that draw the player into the experience

4) Ensure that the viewer leaves with challenging views and a changed perspective

...

5) Be attacked by do-gooders and forced to withdraw your game before it's even out

6) Listen to people who make movies say that games aren't a serious art form because developers never tackle tough subjects

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Paris Hilton

There are two ways to upset people...

The first way to upset people is to be unrealistic about a real problem. The second way to upset people is to be realistic about a real problem.

They need to switch to depersonalized enemies in a made-up location without any difficult decisions that ever happened to anyone in real life, and everyone will be happy. (Except people who care about uncomfortable social commentary.)

Paris, because she doesn't shy away from uncomfortable social commentary, I'm sure.

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Go

title

This game should have gone ahead. If it was about a won battle it would have. Bloody yanks.

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

This sounds like a really interesting game.

I do wonder if there's a little bit of a financial problem at Konami though.. Use the excuse about protesters so that the share holders dont get scared.

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I wonder...

...what depictions the merkins objected to? The lobbing of phosphorus on all remaining residents, or the graphic gunning down of small boys? I mean, since they did it (as filmed by an Italian TV crew), the least they could do is have the balls to own up to it. Right?

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Pussies

Damn cowards. They should take their Veteran Benefits away for having such small balls.

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Paris Hilton

Bloody Yanks

AC said "This game should have gone ahead. If it was about a won battle it would have. Bloody yanks."

Since when do yanks win battles?

They are like the reverse of King Pyrrhus, they lose all the battles yet they still occasionally manage to win a war.

Through weight of numbers.

Paris, because if we were all like Paris there would be no more wars, just nothing but sweet sweet lovin' left in the world.

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Alert

Rewriting history again?

Any game about a historical event should be published regardless of the outcome of said event. In this instance, even if the battle had been lost the game should still be released on the grounds that it depicts an event in world history that had an impact in a larger war.

Games like these are sometimes the only way adolescent teens (and adults) pay attention to world events and could be considered as much a part of their education as any classroom lecture.

That this game is being pulled because the developers obtained the viewpoint of the insurgents in order to make the game as historically accurate as possible is outrageous. America might not like the viewpoint of the insurgents but that story is just as real and important as the overall outcome is and still needs to be told.

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Anonymous Coward

I want realism in my games

Should WW2 shooters be nixed because some people don't want to be reminded of it? I didn't see Activision worrying about the deaths of German and Japanese soldiers in in their Call of Duty series.

Tell you what Konami. Just don't release it in the USA.

Let the rest of us who are grown up enough to make our own decisions do so.

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Pirate

Publisher pulls out

Atomic Games, the developers of the game in question, haven't said they're stopping work on it. I'm sure that at least one of the myriad of other game publishers will step up and start talking with Atomic Games, if they haven't already. Some publishers aren't afraid of a little controversy - and the publicity it can bring.

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Ash
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Vietcong

IT took around 1/3 of a century for a game based on that conflict to be released.

Let's be honest, though; The only people who play it will be kids who facehump the corpses.

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No title Required

What's strange is, some troops actually *wanted* this game to come out because it *did* depict what the conflict was like, and how hard it was.

http://www.joystiq.com/2009/04/10/soldiers-discuss-six-days-in-fallujah-controversy/

... Then there are the troops that think that this will make the conflict seem like shit, without playing it.

Can't please them all.

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Silver badge

It'll still come out

They're just reworking the audio to stick to a new title that has nothing to do with Fallujah anymore.

They change the names of the locations on the maps, and presto, new game. Then they can present it as : Brothers In Arms - Iraqi Sands.

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Unhappy

Maybe it was to close to the truth?

Maybe it showed showed the illegal * use of White phosphorus in a civillian area. Who knows, may of hit a raw nerve.

*The Amercians conveniently didn't sign up to Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. So to them it's not illegal, but then again, they think that using water boarding, sleep deprivation and humilation is not torture....

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Joke

Sequel

"6 years in Vietnam".

Except they've already made hundreds of games about that.

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Phht

"The controversy was given an extra stir when it was revealed that insurgents that fought troops during the battle were consulted was well."

God forbid they have a balanced view.

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N

Its OK

To depict violence, rape & murder

so long as theres no tits & its made in America

typical

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Joke

Shame

I guess the naked Iraqi prisoner pyramid-stacking level was a step too far.

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Dear Yank bashers.....

If you'd actually checked you would have found out that the leading group pressuring Konami not to release the game was not from the US but here in the UK. Yes, those ever-so-fashionable loons from Stop the War Coallition, based out of the UK. And what was their main concern? "It's entirely possible that Muslim families will buy the game, and for them it may prove particularly harrowing." So that would be the UK PC brigade, not the Septic vets.

The complaints from the US vets seem to have centered on two points. Firstly, there was no inclusion of extreme Islamism in the game. For example, no discussion of such niceties as the "geurilas" using places of worship (mosques) as arms stores, torture centres and sniping positions (all breaches of the Geneva Convention), and no inclusion of the type of extremist actions against the civillians the "geurillas" deigned not muslim enough (which included the torture centres). Instead, all the civillian dead seemed to be attributed to US or Iraqi Army fire.

Secondly, they felt that the game just made too much happen to the squad. Taking stories from many different units and then making them all happen to one small group was unrealistic, said the vets. It made it more dramatic and horrorific, but failed to show that long periods of battle are actually spent waiting around, and often the lead up to action can instead lead to a stand down as the enemy surrenders, falls back or you just realise the intell was wrong in the first place. Unfortunately, the old soldiers grumble that war is 99% boredom and 1% unremitting horror accurately portrayed would not sell many games.

All in all, Konami were in a no-win position - include the reality of Islamic extremism and face the wrath of the PC brigade, who seem happy to boycott and picket the stores Konami needed to sell the game through; or get bad-mouthed by the vets and maybe face a similar picketing by vets groups.

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Six days in the Falklands!

Just rebadge it and add water;

chill;

...then serve.

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Black Helicopters

so is it on bittorrent yet??? :)

I agree with all of the above, especially David Wiernicki.

There are already numerous games out there already about Iraq and Afghanistan, both the first and second gulf wars, etc etc, even games about wars that the Merkins lost - eg Battlefield Vietnam, Conflict: Vietnam, those FPS 'Nam ones that I forget the title of.

AFAIK real vets are also consulted (on both sides) for the Medal of Honor games (at least the newer ones).

I mean, God forbid that they would try to get the story from both sides........

This sounds to me like a bunch of PETA members who happen to know a couple of squaddies who heard some half-truth about this project and said "well I dont like the sound of THAT!", then proceeded to march to the post office to send letters of complaint.

I hope they don't find out about the rest of the real world, then we'd really be in trouble...... and by trouble I mean knee deep in letters of outrage....

Black Choppers cos now they'll be sending me complaints for dissing the "MERKA WINS!!!" mentality

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Pirate

Who invaded?

So the Americans invade Iraq, slaughter women and children (on film) and then are not happy when a computer game comes out.

What next, they will want to ban games which include waterboarding, throwing against the wall 30 times, putting in closed boxes with insects and keeping people awake for 7 days?

Fucking hypocrites.

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Interesting

The merkins continue to confirm our prejudices about them. Wonder when they'll sue us all for existing...

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@Everyone ripping on Americans.

YEAH DOS DAMN AMERIKANS AND DER COMPLANING!

Oh wait, I read the article and it was actually people from here complaining.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dear Yank bashers

"After seeing the reaction to the videogame in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and e-mail, we decided several days ago not to sell it"

Sounds to me like Konami are blaming the American market.

You'll probably find that most people are commenting on this article here at El Reg, not something you found somewhere else on the internet that we don't happen to have seen. There's no mention here of UK opposition to the game.

Besides, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anybody who takes any notice of the Stop the War Coalition, let alone pulls a video game because of them.

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@Matt Bryant

Matt,

Please tell me your post was a comedic reply or some attempt at humor.

We invaded their country, butchered over a million,made several more million homeless, and what, you are suprised they are upset?

They do not have UAV's,tanks,aircraft,computers,supply or logistics chains. They do not even get an income.

They didn't even attack us and we still went in.

Did you know that we denied using illegal chemical weapons only to find that ex-soldiers confirmed (in the Starts and Stripes) it was used on civilians.

Then we used bulldozers to lift approx 1.5ft of topsoil from around Fallujah to ensure investigators did not find any proof.

Next you'll be telling us black people have have no right to be mad at the KKK.

What never ceases to amaze me is how we (as a nation) are so blind and incapable of thinking independently for ourselves.

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Anonymous Coward

Think of the families?

http://www.nickarnett.net/2009/04/14/why-six-days-in-fallujah-should-be-banned/

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Flame

bucking follocks

so what about all those countless ww2 games?

utter cack

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Unhappy

Aww

This actually sounded really interesting. :(

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@Matt bashers

"After seeing the reaction to the videogame in the United States and hearing opinions sent through phone calls and e-mail" ffs, if the phone calls and e-mail were all US based, why wouldn't they just say "After seeing the reaction to the videogame in the US"?? To me, that's clearly an implied larger group, beyond US borders. The article also says US vets complained, but doesn't say why. You can a)assume whatever provides a ground for bitching and moaning or b)go find an answer. Why complain about someone going beyond the article to relay more details?

And Tim, dude, I don't think he's leading the charge of justifying the Iraq invasion - he just presented more information about why the game was pulled. sheesh

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Pirate

RE: @Matt Bryant

Dear Tim,

Nope, I save my humour for when the real loons break cover - like you. I feel it's only fair to offer that you save yourself a lot of time and embarrasment up front by stating right now that I don't agree with your obviously ignorant views on the whole Iraq issue, I have done my background reading, spoken to troops that actually went to Iraq, and there is no way you can regurgitate some Indymedia piece and expect me to change my views. But, if you want to start up then I suggest you type D9 into the search box at the top of the page and you'll see exactly what a humour-filled b*tchslapping you are lining yourself up for. Please do try and do a little background reading outside of your obviously limited comfort zone so you don't get too much of a shock or make this too much like shooting Willy Peter at fish in a teacup. Ready? I doubt it, but let's begin....

"....We invaded their country,..." Wow! One actual historical fact! I'm guessing that's your quota filled for now.

"...butchered over a million,...." Really? By who's figures? Even the debunked Lancet figures only mentioned 654,965, and they had to use the most unscientific and ludicrous statistical projections to get there (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_surveys_of_Iraq_War_casualties). And even the original Lancet article makes no attempt to blame allied forces for all those casulaties, but admit many were caused by Iraqi in-fighting. Maybe we should just stop there before we expose your idiocy further? No, you want to go on?

"....you are suprised they are upset?..." Who are upset? The article says the "insugents" were allowed to state their piece for the game, so why would they be upset? Oh, are you talking about Iraqis in general? So that would be the feelings of the majority of Iraqis, as represented by the democratically-elected government that sent the Iraqi forces in to fight alongside the US forces in Falujah, against Al Quaeda forces which have been estimated to be as high as 60% non-Iraqi? Ah, I can see exactly how thorough your research was leading to those deeply entrenched opinions of yours - all of about five minutes of MTV?

"...They do not have UAV's,tanks,aircraft,computers,supply or logistics chains. They do not even get an income...." Ignoring the fact that the original invasion was against the very well armed Iraqi forces - the biggest armed forces of any country in the Middle East - the jihadis that fought in Fallujah represented the minority of Iraqis, not even the whole of the Sunni minority (hence the sucess of the Anbar Awakening program that has helped other Sunnis show they are no friends of the "insurgents"). The "insurgents" chose a battlefield - Fallujah, a crowded civillian town - where they knew the Iraqi and US forces could not use the majority of their high-tech weapons. This brought it down to the type of conflict "insurgents" (AKA terrorists) like - hiding behind women, kids and booby-traps. All this activity was carefully planned and well-funded by Sunni groups throughout the Middle East, even to the point where the jihadis did get paid an "income".

"....Did you know that we denied using illegal chemical weapons only to find that ex-soldiers confirmed (in the Starts and Stripes) it was used on civilians...." I'm guessing you want to wade into a discussion of whether white phosphorous counts as a chemical weapon, regardless of what convention the US was signed up to or not at the time. Oh, and did you mean Stars & Stripes? The reports you refer to recount the use of "shake and bake" tactics - using WP shells to drive enemy forces under cover into the open where HE shells can be used to kill them. At the time, this was completely legal for the US. I'm guessing you can't even name the convention or law you think the US broke by using such tactics at the time. Go on, just try. Before you do, please also go read up on Saddam's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds so you can get a little perspective on your next childish rant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack).

"....They didn't even attack us and we still went in...." Are we talking about Fallujah or the Iraq invasion? The former was at the direct request of the democratically-elected Iraqi government. The latter was in response to Saddam's continual breaching of UN Security Council resolutions. Vent all you like, but you and your like will have no fun ever trying to get the invasion actually judged illegal by a US court. Even Obambi is wary of that, as it would seriously tie his hands shouId he ever need to smack somebody down. I suggest you just give up now and find something useful to do with your life. In the meantime, instead of swallowing that bilge about US troops all being sadist killers, try reading some articles like this actual report from the Wall Street Journal journo embedded with the Marines:

(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB108561482302622502.html?mod=opinion%255Fmain%255Fcommentaries)

"...Then we used bulldozers to lift approx 1.5ft of topsoil from around Fallujah to ensure investigators did not find any proof....." Never heard that one before, and I've seen some pretty wierd conspiracy stuff posted on the web! How would lifting topsoil OUTSIDE the town hide evidence of fighting INTOWN? How would removing topsoil hinder an investigation into fighting taking place INSIDE buildings, and exactly which investigators were these you mention as being obstructed? Please supply the source for this bizarre claim, I'm chuckling in advance at such a barmy idea!

"....Next you'll be telling us black people have have no right to be mad at the KKK....." Ah, the usual sign of an idiot running out of anything to back up their argument - a slant off into wild implications of racism. Please, try harder, you're not fooling anyone. I'm nowhere near run out of stuff to counter your ramblings.

"....What never ceases to amaze me is how we (as a nation) are so blind and incapable of thinking independently for ourselves." Just because not everyone shares your point of view does not mean we are all blind. It just means we are better read, more informed and generally more intelligent than you. Don't feel too bad about your failings, I'm told there's one born every minute.

Now, I'm guessing your reply is going to follow the usual for an ignoramus such as yourself when they run into someone more than capable of showing you up - backpeddalling, unsubstantiated accusations against US forces, more moralistic preaching followed by a wander off-topic into the areas of Gitmo or rendition. Before you do the Gitmo trip, I suggest you read this article about how Iraqis deal with the "insurgents" in Fallujah, then ask yourself whether Gitmo was really that bad: http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/02/the-dungeon-of.php

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Stop

@Peyton

You seem to be suggesting that we trawl the internet for any related info every time we want to comment on a story here, just in case there's another angle to it.

I think not. That's the job of the journalist, so if you want to criticise that's where you should be aiming your over-sensitive "wah! they said something bad about my country" comments.

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Anyone remember Black Hawk Down?

I too was looking forward to this game. I was hoping it would be like the game Delta Force: Black Hawk Down which seemed quite a good presentation of the leadup to the infamous operation in Mogadishu.

And yes, it was only a game but aspects of it were discussed with their special advisors who were there. So it's an interesting contrast to what "Six Days in Fallujah" could turn out like.

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Boffin

@ash

So - no vietnam games came out until 2008 eh?

I think you better google that again - there was a spectrum rambo game set in vietnam from 1985 a Konami arcade shooter not long after and one every few years since.

Want to guess why no vietnam video games were available for a whole decade after the end of the war?

Is it irony that america bashers are using a device that was almost unique to americans prior to the WWW to bash them on the WWW - i.e. piss-poor conspiracy theories - thus showing a) their own complete lack of intellectual capacity and b) the supremacy of the american hegemony even in the field of moronic drivel

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@The exceedingly informed AC

In general, I'm suggesting that when there are obvious gaps in a story, one 'fill in the blanks' before going off on a rant. Course, if you're just going to add meaning/intent where none exist then I'll concur - why bother? Put another way: where tf in my post did I complain about USA bashing?? My response was to the responses to Matt. Methinks I'm not the oversensitive one in this case.

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@Goat Jam

Is it possible to have it more backwards? I tend to doubt it. The US tends to win set-piece battles, by traditional measures (achievement of assigned objectives, casualty ratio, and the like) even when the war itself is a lost cause, from at least the end of the Korean war. The only "exceptions" that come readily to mind are the Desert 1 fiasco (where the mission was aborted before contact with the enemy) and Lebanon (where a suicide bomber, at the time a novel tactic, blew up a Marine barracks).

In Vietnam, the US Army never had an equivalent of Dien Bien Phu. From Ia Drang, to Tet and Khe Sanh and beyond, the army would always win "victories" but the overall effect was a Pyrrhic one in that support for the war ebbed to the extent it was a lost cause. Grenada and Panama were victories but could hardly have been expected to be otherwise, given the asymmetries.

In the first Gulf War, it is hard to imagine how an army could win a more lopsided victory than the one that the US and its coalition partners (UK included) collectively won. In Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down) the Pyrrhic victory pattern returned and Army forces were badly bloodied, but gave worse than they got, and accomplished their mission, but again at a cost which convinced the political authorities to pull out of Somalia. In Afghanistan, the Taliban were easily chased from the country (perhaps deceptively easily) by the Northern Alliance and their US special forces allies.

This brings us to the subject of the story, the battle of Fallujah, where the US were able to clear the insurgent forces from the town. In this case the victory was a costly one (http://www.secinfreg.org/news/fallujah.htm) but this time does not appear to warrant quotation marks since it does not appear (for the moment) to have been in vain.

So, of the past half century (which is only about as long as the US has had a big standing Army) the US Army has won some Pyrrhic "victories", some victories where they took heavy casualties, and some walk-over victories. What's missing from this picture is any hint of them "losing all the battles", whether winning the War or losing it.

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