Erik Prince is gearing up for a foray into the video game business with a new first person shooter based on Blackwater, the infamous private security contractor now known as Xe Services.Prince, a former Navy SEAL and former owner and CEO of Xe, oversaw “Blackwater” with video game developer Zombie Studios. It’s scheduled for release on October 25th, intended for ages 13 and up, and will set you back $50.
From the press release:
Blackwater is an intense, cinematic shooter experience unlike anything you’ve ever played before. Lead a team of Blackwater Operators protecting a fictional North African town, battling dangerous warlords and fighting back two opposing militia forces. Using the motion-sensing Kinect controller players can do everything from moving their character to aiming and firing a weapon as you work your way through pressure-filled missions.
But, as CNN stipulates, “although the game was created with the aid of former Blackwater employees, the gameplay does not put players in situations where civilians or noncombatants are targets.”
Prince told CNN: “The physical, visual and virtual feel of participating in a mission brings a level of excitement and realism to the game that is hard to match. And frankly, it’s fun. I think gamers will really enjoy playing the game.”
“The popularity of simulation military shooters today is really no different from the popularity of playing soldier or cops-and-robbers when we were kids,” he added. “Take timeless themes of courage, good vs. evil and war, and add today’s technology and you get a very popular genre.”
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Blackwater, which has received more than $1 billion in federal contracts in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, became infamous after four employees were charged with the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians after allegedly opening fire in Nisour Square in Baghdad in 2007. A judge dismissed the charges in December 2009, citing missteps by the Department of Justice, but an Appeals Court panel ordered the judge to reconsider the case earlier this year.
Prince resigned in 2009, and the company was rechristened “Xe” when it was sold last year. In August 2010, Xe agreed to pay $42 million to settle hundreds of violations of U.S. export control regulations.
This is not Prince’s first foray into the entertainment world: last September, he was reportedly shopping a movie script around Hollywood.
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