Video games are no stranger to controversy, and those that focus on war are no exception. However, Six Days In Fallujah has shown that, sometimes, controversy doesn’t create cash. That being said, the story behind the game is a lot more complicated than some people imagine. Developer Atomic Games had been working on the game for years, but what exactly happened?
Before Six Days In Fallujah had even been conceptualized, Atomic Games had been working on a number of war strategy games, including the likes of V For Victory. These kinds of games helped kick off a working relationship between the developer and the U.S military. Initially, the idea was to develop a war training game for soldiers, with the developers being aided by actual soldiers and war veterans.
This was when the Iraq war began. Over time, the enlisted soldiers working with Atomic were shipped out. However, that doesn’t mean that work on the game stopped. On the contrary, the soldiers kept helping with the game’s development. Furthermore, they used stories from the Iraq war to help guide the development.
This all changed with the Second Battle Of Fallujah.
Second Battle Of Fallujah
Many of the soldiers helping Atomic Games were involved in the battle to retake Fallujah. However, instead of just using that to help train more soldiers, another concept was born. Atomic Games would use these stories, as well as what they had already learned from the U.S military, to create a somewhat faithful adaptation of the battle in video game form.
Many of the Iraq War veterans working with Atomic were on board. Thus began work on Six Days In Fallujah.
A new engine was built in order to create the game. Assets were built for it. The soldiers’ stories were being told accurately in-game. Potential players would feel what soldiers felt during the battle. In short, it was a survival horror set in Fallujah, with the U.S military serving as protagonists. Soldiers involved in the conflict even lent their voices and appearances.
However, this attention to detail would be the game’s undoing.
You see, this wasn’t going to just be a training simulation. It wasn’t just going to be for soldiers; it was going to be released to the general public. Furthermore, Konami had signed on with Atomic Games to publish the game. This would be something that Konami would later regret.
By the time Konami had gotten involved, marking on the game had already begun, despite being nowhere near being finished. However, reactions were far from positive. The Iraq War was still being fought. People were still dying in the conflict. The Second Battle of Fallujah was a hot topic for many, both in America and Iraq. Fallujah itself was still rubble.
While many soldiers whip worked with Atomic wanted the story to be told, they were in the minority. Friends and family of those who died in the conflict described the game as insensitive. Even top brass in the U.S military didn’t want the game made.
Six Days In Fallujah got quite a negative reception. Death threats were made. They were deemed unpatriotic by exposing the details of the operation. Konami had had enough. After three weeks of constant death threats, they backed out of the publishing deal. Six Days In Fallujah was left without a publisher, and Atomic Games were quickly running out of money.
They could no longer afford to work on the game. Furthermore, very few outside of the company wanted the game released. It was time to call it a day; Atomic stopped development of the game and started working on what would become Breach.
That being said, though, Atomic Games has said that Six Days In Fallujah has been fully developed. However, it’s unlikely that the game will ever see the light of day.