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Wolfenstein PC Recalled in Germany

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 comments
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Activision Germany pulled Wolfenstein PC from German shelves.

Planet Wolfenstein is reporting that Activision Blizzard has recalled the German version of the just-released Wolfenstein PC game. According to the site, German retailers must yank the game from store shelves, as apparently verboten (forbidden) content--possibly swastika images or other Nazi-related material--has somehow slipped into the German version.

The news echoes the controversy surrounding the original 1994 classic Wolfenstein 3-D in which Germany banned the shooter because of Nazi-related content. However, in this case, there's no official word on why the company pulled the game, however Activision Blizzard is expected to release an official statement within the next few days.

But as Planet Wolfenstein points out, the PC version received an average score and landed somewhat lackluster sales upon its initial release. Once the game hit the streets, the teams from both Endrant and Raven were laid off, so getting a corrected version suitable for German scrutiny may be somewhat difficult.

Recently developer Crytek has threatened to move its facility out of Germany due to the country's proposed anti-games law that would ban the production and distribution of violent video games where "the main part is to realistically play the killing of people or other cruel or un-human acts of violence against humans or manlike characters." Activision Blizzard's recent recall of Wolfenstein could be related to the proposed banning, however current speculation points to the Nazi-related issue instead.

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  • 17 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 22, 2009 10:17 PM
    Why? History is in the past. Get over it.
  • 16 Hide
    doomtomb , September 22, 2009 10:33 PM
    This is actually quite common. It's sad to see that the world's 4th largest economy has a fucked up government just like many other parts of the world....
  • 13 Hide
    B-Unit , September 22, 2009 11:15 PM
    maigoIt was edited for Germany where they removed most of the Nazis? How did they manage that?

    Removed most of theswastika images or other Nazi-related material

    Killing Nazis is fine, just as long as they don't dress like Nazis...
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 22, 2009 10:17 PM
    Why? History is in the past. Get over it.
  • 16 Hide
    doomtomb , September 22, 2009 10:33 PM
    This is actually quite common. It's sad to see that the world's 4th largest economy has a fucked up government just like many other parts of the world....
  • -6 Hide
    maigo , September 22, 2009 11:06 PM
    It was edited for Germany where they removed most of the Nazis? How did they manage that?
  • 5 Hide
    Major7up , September 22, 2009 11:07 PM
    Why does this make me think of Australia banning Left 4 Dead 2?
  • 13 Hide
    B-Unit , September 22, 2009 11:15 PM
    maigoIt was edited for Germany where they removed most of the Nazis? How did they manage that?

    Removed most of theswastika images or other Nazi-related material

    Killing Nazis is fine, just as long as they don't dress like Nazis...
  • 8 Hide
    maigo , September 22, 2009 11:36 PM
    B-UnitRemoved most of theswastika images or other Nazi-related materialKilling Nazis is fine, just as long as they don't dress like Nazis...

    but... but the WHOLE story is 'evil-Nazis must die because they're evil-Nazis', the only way to make people think the oppressive evil guys are NOT Nazis is to put the story in Russia or make them cuddly hamsters
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2009 12:15 AM
    In Germany there is a discussion going on about the reasons for the brutalization of the youth leading to amok runs as the ultimate result. So they try to keep the appearance of violence in movies and games under controll. In the US its nudity and sex. You can argue which has more negative influence on underaged kids.
    There is also a law against the usage of Nazi-symbolic due historical reasons which shall prevent the regain of strengh of neofascistic groups in Germany.
    So it's not surprising that Wolfenstein has a hard stand in Germany. What's more infuriating is - like demonhorde already said - the fact that both teams were fired right away. Although I almost hope it fires back and prevents the publishing of this mindless game in Germany.

  • 10 Hide
    gorehound , September 23, 2009 1:27 AM
    so they want to ban wolfenstein well the german gamers know that bittorrent will never ban them from having fun.

    another reason why piracy works
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2009 3:30 AM
    What's truly sad is there are still people in this world that still think that being German automatically makes one a Nazi.

    That is so Not True.

    There are two types of Nazi, both of which are bad. The Nazi political Party (does it still exist?), Then there were Hitler's henchmen, the SS which were the elite troops, the Guestoppo and others who were direct followers of Hitler.

    The rest were nothing more than German Soldiers following orders and civilians who did what they had to to get by during the war. If you refused to Sieg Heil, you were shunned or worse. My Grandmother was German and she refused to Sieg Heil throughout the war.

    Hitler and the Nazi Political party did a lot to harm to Germany's proud heritage.

    Is it no wonder that they don't want any direct reminders of that terrible time?

    Germany has a lot to be proud of and has given a lot to the world. But Germany does not need to be constantly reminded of what Hitler and the Nazi party did years ago.

    The Nazi past desperately needs to be put to rest permanently so the German people and the rest of the world can live a little more peacefully.

    Wolfenstein is meant to be an entertaining game.

    Let's just leave it at that.


    BTW.....

    I didn't mean to go on like this, but when it comes to Germany, Hitler and Nazis are a real sore point for me because of what they did to Deutschland and the rest of the world.
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 23, 2009 6:52 AM
    Renegade_WarriorBTW.....I didn't mean to go on like this, but when it comes to Germany, Hitler and Nazis are a real sore point for me because of what they did to Deutschland and the rest of the world.


    What was done back then sure was sad and shit, but remember that the losing party is always the bad guys. Had the alliance somehow lost, the camps with japanese might've been the spotlight instead of the slaughter of jews. It comes down to politics really. And right now it's politicians that want to erradicate the events from their past. Not much one can do about it really.
  • -1 Hide
    dante01010 , September 23, 2009 7:11 AM
    they probably have a good reason to not add this feature, Apple is not that way stupid...
  • -1 Hide
    jj463rd , September 23, 2009 7:38 AM
    Fortunately I don't have any problems with the NAZI symbols because I live in the U.S.A.
    I do have to thank the NAZI's for several things though.
    First on a personal level because of what they did my dad got to Pilot a legendary aircraft the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and he had a few missions (50) over Germany and many other Axis occupied countries.Dad said it took several years out of his life and he lost a lot of friends.Yet I don't think he would have been the great father that I had without that life experience.
    Second they are interesting opponents in gaming and make ideal evil characters.
    Third war movies are popular.
    Forth without war our technology wouldn't have advanced as much.

    On the down side though war sure creates a lot of human misery,death and destruction.
    In a way though banning the symbology and the fictional or true representation of NAZI's in games could backfire.It's better to remember history rather than hide it or forget it lest it (the evil arising) happen again.
  • 0 Hide
    FSC , September 23, 2009 8:17 AM
    doomtombThis is actually quite common. It's sad to see that the world's 4th largest economy has a fucked up government just like many other parts of the world....


    Including USA
  • -2 Hide
    magicandy , September 23, 2009 9:16 AM
    FSCIncluding USA


    They're all basically the same.
  • 0 Hide
    D2ModPlayer , September 23, 2009 11:19 AM
    I personally like looking at old war relics, swastikas or not. The Nazis were evil sure. But the stuff they made looks cool. How is a game with swastikas going to bring back the gestapo and political figures from that era? It won't. That's like saying killing Nazi's means I hate Germans. I'm German myself! US citizen though, born in England because father was in the US military. Otherwise I have no direct association to the war. I'm not that old.
    I would think killing Nazis would generate sympathy for the game, not getting it banned. Just like People saying Diablo II or Doom III is evil, the whole point to the game is to destroy evil. If that's evil they I'm going to have to join the demon side to be a good person. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Thurin , September 23, 2009 11:25 AM
    one word:
    Ridiculous

    Why does blood have to be turned into green or black goop or fluffy bunnies all the time?

    People young and old all know the difference between a GAME with violence and committing acts of violence in REAL LIFE.

    Those who cannot distinguish between a game and reality should seriously seek appropriate treatment with a licensed doctor.

    For the remainder of the population which I believe to be approximately 99.9% of our wonderful green and blue hunk of interstellar matter(I think as long as we do not drop the ball and go too far with games), should be fine.

    Fact: Nazi's existed
    Fact: Nazi's did evil things
    Fact: Nazi's are one of the world's greatest negative examples
    Fact: Wolfenstein has been a long running series that revolves around beating the Nazi empire and removing Hitler from his station by force...

    I do not believe that the German nation is proud of the Nazis and therefor do not see why they should not allow this game to be published.
    If pitched right by the German authorities it could even mark a beginning of a full recovery to not ban a game like this. I men, think about it: if their attitude would be positive rather than this negative they might lead people to believe that they have accepted that there were wrong doings in the past that they were not a part of, but they have successfully moved on to a point where they an now not only discuss but also allow people to play games with nazi related content in it.

    Since this game doesn't make you a nazi or paint them out to be the best people in the world, I do not believe that it should be such an issue.

    However, it is true that Germany has some serious sensorship in any and all games with violence.

    Anyhow ..I should end my rant here.. however I have one last thing to say:

    As long as you know the line between fiction and reality there should be no issue.

    My two cents,

    Mike
  • 0 Hide
    r0x0r , September 23, 2009 11:30 AM
    dante01010they probably have a good reason to not add this feature, Apple is not that way stupid...


    I believe you are looking for the below link, my good sir...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/hack-windows-security-snow-leopard,8704.html
  • 0 Hide
    godnodog , September 23, 2009 12:00 PM
    Why don´t they just keep the nazi side from being played in any game, also make them look only though when against unarmed oponnents, when nazis faced armed oponents make them look like pussies screaming (Vot? He´s got a gun? Howv could this vas happen? Ve´re dooomeeed....) or like in that movie of Leslie Nielsen: "look out .... he´s got a leg!!!"
  • -1 Hide
    FSC , September 23, 2009 12:37 PM
    No offence to Wolfenstein fans but C'MON... killing (zombie) natzies is like a cliché that wouldn't do even as a bad joke. For me this tells (again) only the game makers lack of imagination. I wish game makers could offer us something new and interesting like the way they have offered better graphics. If so, the (doomtomb's fucked up) governments would not have to worry banning pathetic games.

    Besides I do understand Germans. It is not fun that you'll be reminded time and time again things that you deeply regret.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 23, 2009 1:27 PM
    Man, you have no idea what the problem is really like. After living in Germany for a couple of years, here's what I have observed:

    The fact is, Germany isn't trying to bury past by censoring this game, they are doing it because of the present. Nazis are alive and well in Germany. Both as a political party and as a gang of people who believe in the superiority of the white race. It's not about the symbolism. Actually the swastika can be used in public as anti-Nazi paraphernalia. (This symbol is sewn onto many jackets and purses by the punk crowd http://www.hauptquartier.ac/pics/geg_nazi.gif )

    The biggest problem is, in places with high unemployment, uneducated people turn to groups of people who make them feel powerful. In this case, Nazis. So, the German government has been fighting the battle with Nazis and their gang/political party for a long time, even after the war. If you want to check them out, just head to any major German city and look for the group of people wearing Lonsdale clothing.

    So, it's not about shooting Nazis from the 1940s. It's about keeping a lid on symbolism that could be a problem today.
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