Home War Thunder devs apologize for accidental use of image of Space Shuttle disaster in latest update

War Thunder devs apologize for accidental use of image of Space Shuttle disaster in latest update

Gaijin Entertainment has reacted quickly to apologize for the use of imagery from the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger that killed seven astronauts, in 1986 in a graphic advertising the games’ newest update Seek & Destroy,

The image is so recognizable to people familiar with the tragedy due to the unusual debris trails that it was quickly noticed and pointed out.

A post soon appeared on the War Thunder forums stating:

“Hey guys, we have accidentally used the explosion from the Challenger disaster in one of our key art images. Please accept our sincere apologies for this, the picture was part of an aerial explosion reference pack used by our artists and the context was lost.

We’ll be altering this artwork as soon as we can and will take measures to ensure that this doesn’t repeat again in the future.”

The Seek & Destroy update for War Thunder is the game’s second major update of 2024 and includes new missiles and vehicles.

The Seek & Destroy key artwork features a montage of three fighter jets all releasing missiles, while the image on the bottom left features the iconic trails from the disaster that was watched live by millions around the planet at the time.

There is no indication the image was used with any knowledge of what it portrayed and Gaijin’s swift apology would indicate a genuine mistake.

As of the time of writing the image is still present and can be downloaded as a wallpaper but Gaijin’s representative has said that it will be removed and replaced on Monday (today) hopefully by a less well-known explosion.

What happened to Challenger?

On January 28th, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into its 10th flight killing all seven astronauts on board. It was the first time American space crew had died while in flight.

The accident was later attributed to the failure of the O-Ring seals in the right solid rocket booster.

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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