Atomic Games CEO Peter Tamte has defended the studio's military simulation Six Days in Fallujah, saying that the game is culturally relevant while questioning whether videogames can reach the same artistic merits as other mediums.
During a keynote address at the Triangle Game Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 30, Tamte implied that Six Days in Fallujah - a realistic military simulation centered around an infamously bloody late 2004 US Military offensive against Iraqi insurgents - is a pioneering title that will raise the artistic level of videogames.
"Every form of media has grown by producing content about current events, content that's powerful because it's relevant," said Tamte, as reported by The News & Observer. "Movies, music and TV have helped people make sense of the complex issues of our times."
"Are we really just high-tech toymakers, or are we media companies capable of producing content that is as relevant as movies, music and television?" he continued.
Tamte also responded to media backlash against the possibly insensitive nature of the game, saying that "After they got back from Fallujah, these Marines asked us to tell their story. They asked us to tell their story through the most relevant medium of the day - a medium they use the most - and that is the videogame."
"Six Days in Fallujah is not about whether the US and its allies should have invaded Iraq," Tamte continued. "It's an opportunity for the world to experience the true stories of the people who fought in one of the world's largest urban battles of the past half-century."
Six Days in Fallujah was first unveiled at a press event held in early April by Konami, the game's then-publisher. Later that month, Konami pulled out of its publishing agreement after a significant amount of public backlash, most if it by families of soldiers who died during the conflict. Tamte's keynote was given mere days after Konami's cancellation announcement.
The fate of the game remains uncertain, with Tamte telling GamesIndustry.biz that "Development of the game had been progressing very well and on schedule. We would very much like the opportunity to complete the game."