If you’re not familiar with the Wolfenstein franchise it is a gory celebration of violence against a force that is very hard to sympathise with, the Nazis. The series sees all-American hero, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, go on a rampage against the swastika emblazoned antagonists. Sounds good so far?
If you’re not familiar with America’s political climate, it currently has a bit of a Neo-Nazi problem.
We all grew up learning military history, or at the very least we learned that Nazis are bad — and yet over the last 24 hours, Bethesda, creators of the Wolfenstein franchise, have had to defend a Tweet which was very much anti Nazi. But all things have a beginning point and this particular incident was triggered by the Wolfenstein Twitter account that was advertising the series’ newest instalment The New Colossus ahead of its release later this month.
Make America Nazi-Free Again. #NoMoreNazis #Wolf2 pic.twitter.com/52OESypw4P
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 5, 2017
Taking the ridiculous and hopefully one day forgotten slogan of Donald Trump and reworking it for their own purpose. It should be a simple Tweet that you smile at and then quickly move on. However as is now common on the internet everything went sideways and people are awful.
Please don’t ruin one of the best video game series ever with political bullshit.
— Zach Tassin (@ZachTassin) October 6, 2017
imagine seeing the words “no more nazis” and reacting like this pic.twitter.com/5L9b8CPm3s
— Vylash #TeamKICK (@MiraVylash) October 6, 2017
PR and Marketing Vice President of Bethesda, Pete Hines, told GamesIndustry.biz that “the idea of #NoMoreNazis in America is, in fact, what the entire game (and franchise) is about. Our campaign leans into that sentiment, and it unfortunately happens to highlight current events in the real world.”
“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. 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.”
So good on Bethesda for digging their heels in and telling Nazis to get stuffed because guess what people, Nazis are bad! I am left gobsmacked that a game about wiping out the regime is suddenly seen as a political statement, but unfortunately the behemoth that is social media has given power to that little voice in peoples heads that says, I know that is a stupid statement but I am going to say it anyway.
I wasn’t going to buy Wolfenstein before, however I may just do so now to support Bethesda and send a message to all the Neo-Nazis flooding the world. Be sure to check out our write up of what we thought after our hands on time with Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. Now once more with feeling folks, NAZIS ARE BAD!