It has only been a few days since publisher Konami bailed on the controversial Six Days in Fallujah, but the CEO of developer Atomic Games discussed the situation at the Triangle Game Conference in North Carolina this week.
As reported by the Raleigh News & Observer, Peter Tamte (left) said:
Every form of media has grown by producing content about current events, content that's powerful because it's relevant. Movies, music and TV have helped people make sense of the complex issues of our times.
Are we really just high-tech toymakers, or are we media companies capable of producing content that is as relevant as movies, music and television?
This is what brought us close to many of the Marines who fought in Fallujah. After they got back from Fallujah, these Marines asked us to tell their story. They asked us to tell their story through the most relevant medium of the day -- a medium they use the most -- and that is the video game.
'Six Days in Fallujah' is not about whether the U.S. and its allies should have invaded Iraq. It's an opportunity for the world to experience the true stories of the people who fought in one of the world's largest urban battles of the past half-century.
GP: Setting aside the issue of whether it's too soon for a Fallujah game, frankly, the P.R. surrounding Six Days was incredibly bungled from day one. There is no precedent for a game project to crater with such velocity. A mere three weeks passed from the initial article about the game in the L.A. Times to Konami's sudden withdrawal from the project.
Here are a few questions I'd like to see Peter Tamte to address:
- Why was Six Days pegged as a "survival-horror" game, ala Silent Hill? Was that handed down by Konami? Such a designation indicates a shoot 'em-up scare-fest rather than the serious treatment of the Battle of Fallujah which Atomic claimed to be developing.
- Why does Atomic keep pushing the line that Iraq war veterans were beating down its door, demanding that they create Six Days, when it has been definitively shown by One Last Continue that Destineer, which owns Atomic, filed to trademark the name a mere three months after the battle ended in December, 2004? Most Fallujah vets were likely still deployed at that time.
- Why would Atomic consult with insurgents (if they actually did)? Whether such consultations took place or were simply hype, why would Atomic think this would be a positive thing to announce? The insurgents were killing and maiming U.S. personnel in Iraq for years with a devastating IED campaign and even occasionally decapitating U.S. prisoners. I'm of the opinion that this piece of radioactive P.R. was the tipping point in Konami's decision to bail.