A few folks weren't too pleased with the Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Twitter account over a "Make America Nazi-Free Again" tweet - even though that's what players will be doing in the game. "We don't feel it's a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we're not anxious about being on the right side of history here", Hines stated in an interview with GameIndustry magazine.
"At the time none of us expected that the game would be seen as a comment on current issues, but here we are", Hines says. You can read the full interview here if you're interested in hearing what else he has to say on the matter.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is set in an alternative universe in the 1960s where the Nazi regime wins World War II and rules Europe. Pairing this slogan with marketing material for Wolfenstein II has caused complaints and heavy discussion (see Twitter thread and Reddit) around the content of the video and the decision making that went into this post. This fictional setting of Nazi soldiers on the USA streets is awfully familiar to real-life current events as of late.
Hines explained that in the upcoming game, freeing America is just the first step to freeing a world in which the Nazis won.
The surprise is that there are genuine Nazis marching through the streets of the USA in 2017, and that's put the game's anti-Nazi ad campaign into a surprisingly, unnervingly relevant place. "We aren't going to shy away from what the game is about", he continued.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, the Bethesda Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines tried to clear up the confusion. We don't feel it's a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we're not anxious about being on the right side of history here. With the political climate the way it is right now, it's unfortunate that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is being put under fire. The upcoming Wolfenstein II, which launches at the end of the month, continues the alternate history story of 2014 outing The New Order and moves the action to a Nazi-occupied America. We make games that we think are fun, meaningful, and immersive for a mature audience.
We're certainly aware of current events in America and how they relate to some of the themes in Wolfenstein II.
There's a growing trend of discomfort among gamers about the overt-politicization of some games, especially as they tie into current day politics.
"In Wolfenstein's case, it's pure coincidence that Nazis are marching in the streets of America this year", said Hines, referring to the Charlottesville march.
"We can't speak to what other publishers choose to do and say with their games", he says.