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War Thunder Dev Apologizes After Accidentally Using Image Of Challenger Disaster

Dev ensures the issue won't happen again.


War Thunder developer Gaijin Entertainment has issued an apology after accidentally using a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding in the game's artwork.

With each new patch released for War Thunder, a new loading screen is added that reflects its contents, and these can also be downloaded as wallpapers from the developer's website. In this case, the most-recent screens include War Thunder's newest Seek & Destroy update, but appeared to also show an infamous image of the Challenger explosion. The issue was first noticed by users on Reddit as well as those on War Thunder's forums.

At first, some users speculated that it could've been an AI image, but Gaijin Entertainment addressed the issue, saying, "Hey guys, yeah please accept our apologies for this, the picture was part of an aerial explosion reference pack used by our artists and the context was lost." Gaijin also said the key art would be changed on Monday and it's taking steps to make sure that this issue doesn't happen again.

The Challenge disaster occurred in 1986 when seven crew members were killed upon the space shuttle exploding 73 seconds into the flight. It remains the deadliest NASA disaster of all time, alongside the Columbia explosion in 2003, which also saw seven people die.

War Thunder is a free-to-play vehicular combat game that was released back in 2013 and is available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. In GameSpot's War Thunder review, we said, "War Thunder is a sprawling WWII simulation that you can lose yourself in due to its wide scope, intense combat, tremendous number of vehicles, casual and challenging difficulty settings, and extensive upgrade paths."

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