Guantanamo Bay game cancelled after 'extreme reaction'

Guantanamo Bay game cancelled after 'extreme reaction'

By Rob Crossley

June 4th 2009 at 1:04PM

Developer lashes out against allegations that the Xbox title was a â??recruiting tool for terrorismâ??

Days after T-Enterprise told MCV that it would release its controversial Guantanamo Bay game over Xbox Live if it couldn’t find a publishing partner, the Scottish developer has cancelled the project.

Slated for release in January 2010, the title has been cancelled about a quarter of the way through development.

In a written statement, T-Enterprise Director Zarrar Chishti said that the game has been pulled due to “the extreme reaction that the game and its popular misconceptions have provoked.”

Rendition: Guantanamo would have been T-Enterprise’s first Xbox 360 title. It would have cost £250,000 to make and was based on a game engine the studio has been developing for two years. The game tasked players with breaking out of a fictional Guantanamo, where immoral biological tests were conducted on inmates.

“Unfortunately, much of the speculation regarding the game itself made by various publications and websites has been inaccurate and ill informed,” said Chishti.

“Based on a simple teaser trailer that actually revealed little of the game, many conclusions were reached that have absolutely no foundation whatsoever. It was never designed to be ‘propaganda’ or ‘a recruiting tool for terrorism’.

Neither was it designed to glamorise terrorism as has been reported.”

A former detainee in Guantanamo Bay, Moazzam Begg, had been consulted to assist with the creation of the game. T-Enterprise had repeatedly distanced itself from the contemporaneous controversial title Six Days In Fallujah, which itself was developed apparently with advice from insurgents who mounted attacks against US forces in the Iraqi War.

“First and foremost, the main character [in Rendition: Guantanamo] was not Moazzam Begg,” read the statement. “Instead, his name was Adam. He happened to be involved in a case of mistaken identity and so was never a terrorist.”

T-Enterprise added that it is “against all forms of terrorism” and “would never seek to advocate otherwise.”

Chishti insisted that no American military personnel would have been killed within the game, as the game is a mercenary-run institution.

“We support the British and American troops that fight the war against terrorism to make the world a safer place and would not make a game that said otherwise,” said Chishti.

“Having clarified our position on terrorism, I would now like to refute all suggestions that the game was in any way linked to Al Qaeda. T-Enterprise has never had and would never have a link to Al Qaeda in any way, shape or form. Furthermore, we would certainly not facilitate a means of funding for any group that undertook terrorist activities. The game was simply designed to be an action video game that adults could enjoy.”