According to Bethesda’s blog, Germany will get the uncensored version of Wolfenstein: Youngblood for the first time in the history of the MachineGames’ series.
When the previous installment, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, came out in Germany, Bethesda had to remove swastikas and even Hitler’s iconic mustache, effectively replacing the character with an anonymous Nazi party official.
Youngblood will not be similarly denazified in Germany due to regulatory changes that came into force in August 2018. Under the new regulations, Germany’s Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) is now able to allow the release of +18 rated games featuring “symbols of unconstitutional organizations” as long as they meet “social adequacy clause.”
In fact, the USK has approved both the international and the German versions of Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Bethesda developed them in parallel, not knowing initially if the German edition would get the same treatment as the international one. Following the decision of the USK, Germany will get two separate editions featuring identical content. The original international version will be in English, while the localized version will be in German. It means that switching between the languages will not be possible.
The uncensored release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood signifies an important milestone for Germany’s game industry. When the regulations changed in 2018, Felix Falk, managing director of “game, the German Games Industry Association” told gamesindustry.biz:
“It is important for us not just because we want the recognition in terms of the equal role, but also because we want to be part of the social discourse – in the face of tendencies towards discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism, in Germany and worldwide.
It’s our responsibility to speak up for an open and inclusive society, which we can do with our games, as an art-form.”
Felix Falk, game, the German Games Industry Association
Wolfenstein: Youngblood comes out on July 26.