Return to Castle Alteration

XGR is citing an unnamed source concering the alteration of the German version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The German version, due out this week, will have a cult called The Wolves instead of Nazis, and Heinrich Himmler is called Heinrich Höller. I contacted id CEO Todd Hollenshead about this and here is what he had to say on the matter.

As you probably know (since you're not all that far away), you cannot legally sell a game in Germany where you fight Nazis. That type of content, along with Swastikas, the Deathshead symbol, and lots of other Nazi iconography is strictly taboo there: it's effectively the *legal* equivalent to a drug like marijuana here in the U.S. It would be illegal to sell, or even possess any game that contained that content. So the real choice for RTCW for the German market is to either change the content, or simply not sell it.

None of this is any secret to the German gaming press or consumers, as I've had numerous discussions with the magazines there about content modifications required for the German market. They know the rules and the laws and understand the situation with the game.

While I may disagree with the German ban on Nazi iconography (the easiest way to allow history to repeat itself is to forget your mistakes, imo), I respect their unique situation and their sensitivities to the subject matter. I also have no desire to encourage our distribution partners to knowingly and willfully violate local laws that carry stiff penalties. I know at least some of our fans in Germany would like to play the U.S. version of the game, but I believe they would prefer to play a "German" version to playing no Wolfenstein at all. And I'm certain that gamers in Germany understand the local distribution issues better than at least one website ;-)