US indie outfit Atomic Games, developers of the divisive Iraq War title Six Days in Fallujah, has responded to Konami’s surprise decision to withdraw from publishing the game.
On Monday it was revealed that Konami had abandoned a publishing deal with Atomic, following sustained public criticism of the game’s content and setting.
In a statement released to Develop, Atomic President Peter Tamte that the studio “was informed on Thursday night [April 23] that Konami had decided to pull out of Six Days in Fallujah.”
He added that the decision had “caught us by surprise.”
On Monday a Konami spokesperson said that “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 [Six Days in Fallujah].”
Despite the withdrawal from Konami, Tamte was optimistic about the game’s future, stating that development of the game had been “progressing very well and on schedule” before Konami pulled out. He added that the team “would very much like the opportunity to complete the game.”
When unveiled early in April, Six Days in Fallujah had been subjected to public outcry for centring a game on the Second Battle of Fallujah, a conflict that took place in Iraq only five years ago, and saw the deaths of numerous US Marines, Iraqi insurgents, and local civilians. The battle saw extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses.
The game was quickly bashed by the Daily Mail, while British war veterans as well as British peace group, Stop the War Coalition, called for the game to be pulled.
The outcry was of equal enormity in the US, where bereaved families of soldiers and citizens' groups lashed out at the game’s content.
Now the title may not make its planned release schedule for next year. The game was not announced for a European release.