War Thunder apologizes for using explosion from Challenger Disaster in promo art

War Thunder

War Thunder has come under fire once again for controversial real-life parallels with its new content, though this time it’s from the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.

A new “Seek & Destroy” update was released for the WWII online battle game featuring the above artwork, if you compare the explosion on the left side to the real life photo of the Challenger explosion on the right, the similarity is striking:

Fans were quick to notice the iconic yet tragic explosion from the disaster, which resulted in the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding, killing all seven crew members aboard. The shuttle disintegrated some 46,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean not long after takeoff, the first fatal accident of an American spacecraft while in flight.

Gaijin Entertainment has since confirmed the mistake in using the explosion in their update artwork, noting it was added to an explosion reference pack (they likely have lots of these) by their artists and the context behind that particular explosion was entirely lost.

“Hey guys, we have accidentally used the explosion from the Challenger disaster in one of our key art images,” a War Thunder community manager said. “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.

They noted that the War Thunder team will be “altering this artwork as soon as we can and will take measures to ensure that this doesn’t repeat again in the future.”

Players from the War Thunder community have been infamous with leaking actual classified documents on the real-life counterparts of various combat vehicles, which we’ve covered numerous times here, here, here, here, and here. Players usually do this when taking part in the endless online debates over what vehicles or weapons are superior.

War Thunder has been available on Windows PC, Linux, Mac (all via Steam), Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.



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