29 April 2009

Fallujah's Days Are Numbered...

"ZERO!" says Konami.

I must admit to being *a little* surprised about Konami's cancellation of Six Days in Fallujah just ONE WEEK after showing it off at their very own Gamers' Night event. I say 'a little' because of:

  • a) the backlash from soldier's families and veterans ("how DARE you document true war in a toy?!");

  • b) mixed responses from games journalists regarding the intent behind the game; but most of all:

  • c) Konami and Atomic Games don't seem to be on the same page regarding (b).

Konami storming the Atomic Games office for Fallujah's source code.

[Does anyone else love the fact that 'Fallujah' looks just like 'Hallelujah' except you get to enunciate the 'j'?]

Take a look at these choice quotes and see if you can spot the difference:
'US Marine Corps Corporal Michael Ergo explained how important he feels videogames have become to our culture, and how they are "one, if not the most important" mediums for telling stories such as his.'

Creative Director Juan Benito posted:

"We want people to experience something that's going to challenge them, that's going to make them think and provide an unprecedented level of insight into a great military significance."

Atomic Games President Peter Tamte posted:

"What we're trying to do is recreate the stories of the Marines that we've spoken with and that are involved in the creation. And we're telling those stories of those particular Marines."

Konami Marketing VP Anthony Crouts posted:

"We're not pro-war. We're not trying to make people feel uncomfortable. We just want to bring a compelling entertainment experience. At the end of the day, it's just a game."

Bit of a contrast in vision there, wouldn't you say? It sounded like the Konami VP was trying to put out a PR fire.

Atomic Games: on mission to find a new publisher?

It's probably for the best, really. Hopefully now Atomic Games can shop around for a publisher whose vision for Fallujah doesn't conflict with theirs. And then we can finally get around to defending a videogame's right to tell someone's story.

Toy indeed.

P.S. Interesting how Konami backed down from Fallujah, while Capcom went full steam ahead on RE5 following similar, if not greater levels of criticism from the press. If Fallujah was a Call of Duty game, this may not have been a problem.

P.S.S. For more Fallujah-related reading, check here, here, here, and here.

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