When the DOOM reboot launches in May of this year, it will do so without any censorship in Germany. This is the first time that the franchise has not required heavy content cuts in order to be granted sale rights in the country.
Germany has a government department that has for a long time made things difficult for developers and publishers. It’s known as the Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons, and it’s been behind a lot of video game censorship, and outright bans. They caught wind of it late, but Techland’s Dead Island was placed on the Department’s “List B”, which is kind of like Santa’s Naughty List, only it’s reserved for media that displays content that is either profoundly violent (hi, Dead Island!) or festooned with Nazi material like swastikas. Fallout 3 was censored for 7 years; Wolfenstein was also censored and had to be recalled. The original DOOM and DOOM 2 were only allowed to be sold uncensored since 2011.
That, according to Bethesda, is what set a precedent. The publisher acquired Id Software and the DOOM franchise in 2009. A few years later they appealed to Germany’s Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons to have the censorship over-ruled. That appeal was successful, and the same reasons for allowing the original nineties games to be sold uncensored, are now the reasons for allowing the DOOM reboot a free pass as well.
Speaking to Polygon, Bethesda’s VP of marketing, Pete Hines, said: “We’re pleased the game can be released in its entirety in Germany without the need to edit or change anything. Perhaps not all that surprising given how other titles have been rated there recently, but still a cool thing to see given that Doom and Doom 2 were banned in Germany and were delisted a few years ago.”
Looks like the Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons is getting soft in its old age.