Six Days in Fallujah | controversial shooter to launch over 10 years after its cancellation

six days in fallujah

Originally announced in 2009, Six Days in Fallujah is finally emerging in June as an Early Access tactical shooter.

There are games with long and difficult development cycles, and then there’s Six Days in Fallujah – a first-person shooter that gives Duke Nukem Forever a run for its money in terms of lengthy timescales.

The tactical shooter is due to appear in Early Access on 22 June this year, and will see up to four players team up to take on “realistic” combat missions on procedurally-generated “urban maps”, per publisher Victura’s press release. Work on the game originally began well over a decade ago, however, at Texan studio Atomic Games.

Originally announced in 2009, Six Days in Fallujah immediately sparked controversy due to its basis in the real-world Second Battle of Fallujah, which at the time had only occurred five years earlier. Atomic Games pointed to the level of research it was putting into the project, with input sought from US soldiers as well as Iraqi people who’d played a role in the conflict.

All the same, questions remained over the ability for a first-person shooter to fairly convey the horrors of war without tipping over into ugly voyeurism or jingoistic sabre-rattling. The heat surrounding the game was such that publisher Konami bowed out mere weeks after the game’s announcement. Atomic Games hobbled on for a couple more years until it filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

The game then spent the next decade floating around in a sort of Twilight Zone, with reports emerging that God of War's Santa Monica Studio was once involved in keeping the project going.

One constant in Six Days in Fallujah’s story is Peter Tamte, the former president of Atomic. He founded a new studio, Victura, in 2016, and it’s there that work on the shooter has continued since. The controversy never quite went away, but the delays persisted, with releases scheduled for 2021 and 2022 and subsequently missed. The game’s opponents still insist that the game shouldn’t be released; in a 2021 interview with CNN, a survivor of the conflict, Najla Bassim Abdulelah, said, “I am disgusted that this is something that will be producing profit when people like me suffered the consequences of this war and will have to watch people play it for fun.”

Six Days in Fallujah will appear on Steam Early Access on 22 June, with the full PC and console releases said to be scheduled for 2024.

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