Victura, the Seattle-based publisher behind the tactical shooter/historical simulation Six Days in Fallujah, has pushed the game’s release back to the fourth quarter of 2022.
In the interval, it also plans to “nearly double” the size of the Six Days development team at Seattle’s Highwire Games.
“It became clear that recreating these true stories at a high quality was going to require more people, capital, and time than we had,” wrote Peter Tamte, CEO of Victura, in a press release. “Doubling our team is just one of many things we’re doing to make sure Six Days in Fallujah brings new kinds of tactical and emotional depth to military shooters.”
Six Days is set during the events of the Second Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, which is considered both one of the bloodiest fights for American troops in the Iraq War and one of the most dangerous urban combat theaters in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. The battle’s depiction in Six Days is intended to be a blend between a video game and a historical document, in order to provide players with a deeper understanding of the Second Battle, and of the experience of real-life urban warfare.
According to Victura, Six Days is being made “with help from more than 100 Marines, soldiers, and Iraqi civilians.” The project was originally conceived by Eddie Garcia, a U.S. Marine who fought and was wounded in Fallujah.
Six Days was originally announced in 2009, but due to substantial blowback from anti-war groups, its publisher quietly dropped it a couple of weeks later. Its abrupt resurrection at Victura in February is still one of the bigger surprises of 2021 in the games industry, and it’s not like this wasn’t a weird year.
However, Six Days is just as controversial, if not moreso, in 2021. The Second Battle of Fallujah is a central conflict in a highly divisive war, which has had a lasting negative effect on the region and later came under fire for the tactics employed by U.S. soldiers, which included the offensive use of white phosphorus.
Both American and Iraqi survivors of the conflict have criticized Six Days for turning the Second Battle into the subject of what’s ostensibly a leisure activity. Video games about war have a similar problem to films about war; making a fun video game where you’re fighting a war accidentally conveys the message that war is fun, even if an individual game’s narrative might say otherwise.
Victura has countered the criticisms with, among other things, an extensive FAQ on the official Six Days website. The final game is planned to include documentary segments that interview both soldiers and civilians who were present at the Second Battle of Fallujah, with some footage that goes back to 2008.
Players will also never play as an Iraqi insurgent during Six Days; shooting an Iraqi civilian is reportedly an instant failure condition; and one of the playable characters in Six Days is an “unarmed Iraqi father trying to get his family out of the city.” Victura has promised that a portion of its proceeds from Six Days will be donated to charity, with funds directed by the soldiers and civilians who were interviewed to create the game.
As a side note, Six Days‘ new planned release window is a low-key but fascinating flex. For whatever reason, Victura is deliberately planning to put Six Days out in time for the 2022 holiday season. That means it plans to debut at roughly around the same time as 2022’s entry in the Call of Duty franchise of military shooters, which have been coming out annually since 2005 and are typically the best-selling game of the year. Victura is displaying a lot of confidence in its product here.