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New Wolfenstein games will be released with uncensored Nazi imagery in Germany

Swastikas and even Hitler’s mustache were previously removed from games prior to German release

Wolfenstein Youngblood - B.J.’s daughters in Paris MachineGames/Bethesda Softworks

Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, the next titles in the alternate-future first-person shooter series from Bethesda Softworks, will be released uncensored in Germany. They will be the first video games ever sold at retail inside that country to include Nazi imagery at launch. The announcement comes in the wake of a change in German national policy late last year, allowing the use of such iconography if the artistic use is justified by the content in the game.

Zenimax Germany tells Polygon that both the German and the international versions of Wolfenstein: Youngblood will be available on the game’s international launch day — on July 26 — for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot will also be available that same day for PS4 and Windows PC. They confirmed that the German version will be censored, while the international version will not. Both will be sold for the same price, and otherwise include the same content.

“Both versions — as with previous editions — are identical content wise, but feature different iconography within the game,” Zenimax said in an English language press release issued today.

The change in policy by the USK, the German rating body, was enacted in August 2018. Previously, other games in the Wolfenstein series had been forced to remove swastikas and even alter the appearance of Adolf Hitler to make him less recognizable. The change in policy now grants the same privileges to video games as had previously been given to movies and other creative works.

Today’s news is a big win for Zenimax Germany, but it’s not nearly the first time that team has succeeded in fighting censorship. In 2016, it announced that Doom, the reboot of the seminal FPS franchise, would be released uncensored in Germany. It was the first title in the series, which dates back to 1993, to debut in that country in its original format. Fallout 4 was also released uncut in Germany, and Fallout 3 was unbanned that same year.

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