Sometimes we forget how great we have it. We’ve been killing (virtual) Nazis nearly all our lives. But until recently, this was something players based in Germany did not get. However, in the upcoming Wolfenstein: Youngblood, for the first time in the series’ history, German players get the opportunity to kill Nazis uncensored.
Bethesda announced the good news today via their German forums. They explained how this came about due to a change in the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle’s (USK), which translates to Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body, testing practice. When creating games with intense themes and visuals, two separate versions of the title get built. There’s the international, uncensored version, and a compliant censored German version.
While this was a significant step forward, there’s a catch.
The decisions made by the USK happen on a case by case basis. Until a significant, more general policy change on how Nazi iconography gets used in video games, developers must still create a separate, censored version. In 2017 when Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus released, the title had to edit all swastikas and shave Hitler’s mustache.
Regardless, this decision by the USK is still an important step. We’re sure Youngblood is going to be a much more enjoyable experience for German players because of the USK’s decision, and moving forward they may become more open to discussing policy changes.