This week’s E3 in Los Angeles has confirmed a long-running fear about Call of Duty WWII: Sledgehammer Games has censored the Germans in their “historically accurate” WWII game by removing all swastikas.
This concern began spreading around Reddit back in May when artwork of weapons and other German items in the game leaked out with the swastikas replaced with the iron cross. People didn’t quite panic just yet, but the E3 trailer released yesterday confirms that the imagery in-game has been altered.
Before someone chimes in to claim this is only for the German release of the game, as this point that is not the case.
Activision released ten versions of the footage yesterday and all are identical. Also, Sledgehammer is reported to have said that they removed the swastikas because they didn’t want to upset anyone. That’s right, San Francisco Bay Area-based Sledgehammer Games has decided that they wanted to turn a World War II game into a safe space by sanitizing history for crybaby snowflakes who can’t handle the truth of what happened in the war. Further, it’s rumored the popular “Nazi Zombies” mode will be renamed “WWII Zombies” to eliminate “Nazi” from the title.
Ironically, Sledgehammer Games has spent the last three months months talking about how historically accurate the game is going to be. In an interview back in April, founder Glen Schofield actually said, “That was one of the important things, getting all the details right. To me, a game is a toy. What we’re creating is art. ‘Game’ doesn’t feel deep enough for what we make nowadays. They used to be more and more game-like. Now they’re story-driven, emotion-driven, all sorts of things. It’s an evolution of the art.” All of the details for Schofield were important, except for what the Nazis actually looked like during World War II.
This sort of censorship isn’t uncommon, but it hasn’t happened in a big way in the US since the 90s when Nintendo famously censored the SNES ports of Wolfenstein 3D and The Rocketeer to remove all Nazi imagery.
Call of Duty had its origins in World War II. The first four games in the series were WWII titles, with the most recent (World at War) released in 2008. Less than ten years ago Call of Duty had no problems showing Nazis as they appeared in reality. Now with outrage culture and snowflakes who get their feelings hurt with the truth, Activision has allowed Sledgehammer to forever taint their billion-dollar franchise by making World War II “safe” from offending anyone.
There are still a few months to go before Call of Duty WWII releases, so hopefully the outrage over the censorship will force Sledgehammer to reverse their “safe space” decision. But based on where the studio is located and the mindset of the people in that area, that’s extremely doubtful. That would make Call of Duty WWII the first Call of Duty game I won’t buy, and I’ve been with the series since the beginning.
And while Call of Duty WWII is afraid to show people swastikas on Nazis, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is like “hold my beer”.