Would you believe it, Wolfenstein publisher Bethesda tweeted some overtly anti-Nazi stuff recently as part of the marketing for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and a lot of people took issue with it. People got all uppity because of anti-Nazi tweets. That just seems wrong, doesn’t it?
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 5, 2017
In fairness, for a lot of the offended bunch, the actual issue was more about Bethesda capitalising on the current volatile political climate in the US, and less about actually being Nazi sympathisers. Still, if you’re on the side of the argument who is not screamingly anti-Nazi, you’re pretty much automatically on the wrong side. We’re teetering on the edge of Godwin’s law territory.
The bottom line is that Wolfenstein is, and always has been, about putting bullet holes in Nazis. The fact that there are currently people with Nazi sensibilities marching the streets of the US with flaming torches and bad attitudes, that’s coincidental, but Bethesda have pounced on it.
“Wolfenstein has been a decidedly anti-Nazi series since the first release more than 20 years ago. We aren’t going to shy away from what the game is about,” said Pete Hines, VP for PR and marketing at Bethesda, speaking to gamesindustry.biz. “We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we’re not worried about being on the right side of history here.”
Shrewd marketing, or shameless cash-in a bad situation? You’ll have to make up your own mind.