Game Publisher Bethesda Software won’t release the game Wolfenstien 2: The New Colossus in Israel, a statement released on their website on Sunday said.
Bethesda did not state any specific reason for avoiding the Israeli market and has only stated on their website, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
According to Vice News, The decision was made after the game developers were heavily censored in the German gaming market. The programmers had to remove images of Swastikas and Hitler’s mustache.
Bethesda did not submit the game to be reviewed by Israeli censorship board.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossuses features an American-Jewish protagonist killing Nazis in a Nazi-occupied United States. The game in the original programming made a number of references to Nazism, the Klu Klux Klan and used Nazi symbolism in the game environment.
Israeli developers Shalov Moran, Alon Karmi and Nadav Hekselman created a parody of Wolfenstein 2 on the website Dancingengie.itch.io. The game is titled Wolfenstache: The New Censorship and features all of the imagery banned in the German gaming media.
The Israeli developers say the censorship is disrespectful to both Germans and Israelis. Karmi believes that Bethesda decisions to avoid selling in Israel is based on a fear of offending the Jewish state but disagrees that Israelis would be offended.
Moran believes the German censorship law is outdated and Bethesda should have protested the restrictions. “First and foremost, we’re calling out Bethesda for what seems to me like the stupidest act of revisionism in history.”
The act of a voluntary Israeli ban is more offense to Jews than any Nazi imagery in the game, he said. “When you’re not selling your game in Israel because we’re Jews, you’re doing it wrong. You can be proud of your game in every game store around the world but so ashamed of it in Israel you won’t sell even sell it to us?”
This is the second time Wolfenstein 2 has been met with criticism for an offensive marketing style. In October, the Wolfenstein Twitter posted a video with the title “Make America Nazi Free Again” and many followers took it as criticism of US President Donald Trump. The game developers denied they were criticizing the president and just wanted to parody a catchy phrase.