Publisher Pulls Plug on Iraq War Video Game

The plug's been pulled, for now, on "Six Days in Fallujah."

Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Tuesday that game publisher Konami has decided not to release the ultra-realistic Iraq combat game, which is based on the bloody 2004 battle between American and Iraqi uniformed personnel and Iraqi insurgents.

"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 it," a public-relations official at Konami told the newspaper. "We had intended to convey the reality of the battles to players so that they could feel what it was like to be there."

Atomic Games, based in San Francisco, had gotten the input of dozens of soldiers and Marines to make the game as real as possible. But families of fallen GIs and veterans' groups were outraged, blasting the game concept as exploitative and distasteful.

"These people who aren't affected by the war get to sit on their couch and play this 'fun' game," one woman whose only son was killed in Iraq told the military-personnel newspaper Stars and Stripes earlier this month. "This isn't fun."

It's still entirely possible Atomic Games could find another publisher to manufacture and distribute the game.

• Click here to read the report in the Asahi Shimbun.

• Click here for the Stars and Stripes story.

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