In yet another case of Germany not having nice things due to Nazi’s, the German version of Wolfenstein: The New Order will be censored to cut out any and all Nazi imagery. To enforce that physical and digital sales of the non-German entries don’t make their ways into hands of consumers in the country, Bethesda has announced that they will be geo-locking the international version of the game so that it cannot be activated within Germany.
Their reasoning why is pretty valid. (emphasis is theirs)
"The international (non-German language) version of “Wolfenstein®: The New Order” (the “Game”) includes Nazi-related symbols and content – as a result, the sale, import, export, or distribution of this international version to and in Germany is strictly forbidden by German law, and would be, among other statutory violations, a criminal offence under §§ 86, 86a StGB (German Criminal Code). A violation may result in confiscation of the Game, a high financial penalty or up to three years in prison. Any person involved and/or responsible for such violation may be prosecuted and sentenced, including officers and employees of companies involved."
It’s not like it would be literally impossible to play the non-censored version of Wolfenstein: The New Order within Germany; it’s just that it is extremely difficult to do so. The players of the game are protected from prosecution; it’s just everyone involved in the capitalistic production and distribution of the game. Unfortunately, it will likely lead those within Germany who are disappointed they can’t play the true version of the game to then pirate the game illegally.
It’s a really tricky subject, especially because of the cultural and historical ramifications of Nazism within Germany and their insistence of non-glorification of that dark time. Gamers will get their hands on uncensored games through less-than-moral means if they can’t buy the honest-to-true methods, so Bethesda has likely accepted this fact with their new Wolfenstein title. It will be interesting to see who pushes for censorship changes in Germany going forward more; consumers of all media (film, gaming, TV, etc.) or its producers.
Wolfenstein: The New Order will be heading to PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on May 20th.
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