Wolfenstein II Marketing Takes a Not-So-Subtle Stance Against Real World Controversy

Nazis. They’re bad, right? Obviously. They’ve been the bad guys in countless forms of entertainment. Movies, comic books, video games, especially ones like Wolfenstein.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a game about an alternate reality where Nazis won World War 2 and occupied America and still do in the present day. If it’s anything like the previous game, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the trailers are to believed, the game will set you on the opposite side of many, many Nazis in the quasi-21st century. This is a rather uncomfortable parallel to today’s real-world political landscape. Oddly enough, MachineGames has somehow avoided major controversy with their game, seeming to not address the glaring comparison. Until today’s Wolfenstein ad that is.

Now, they didn’t outright say, « Hey look, this game is eerily relatable in today’s society. » No, that would be too easy. Instead, they took a route that forces viewers to make their own connections. Stormtroopers marching down an American street with the thunderous words « Not My America » slamming down on the screen? The tagline on the tweet saying « Make America Nazi-Free Again »? 

The backlash on social media that Twitter users MiraVylash and YungShaxx were kind enough to compile really smacks of irony as well.

The strange times we live in are strange for a number of reasons. One of which is that major companies tend to stay away from the Neo-Nazi/White Nationalist controversy happening in America, not commenting on it as to avoid being brought into the argument. But MachineGames is making a game about killing and liberating one’s self from Nazis. They had a golden opportunity to make a statement and apparently waited long enough for the hype to build for the game before striking. But Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is being published by Bethesda, a big, Triple-A developer who you’d expect to shy away from controversy. When they began developing The New Colossus, we wonder if Bethesda or the developer would have ever expected a game about killing Nazis would be « controversial ».

The real question is: Is this just a dig at today’s political landscape, or will the game make more uncomfortable but important statements in the game itself? We’ll have to see when it launches later this month.

We got some hands-on time with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus a few months ago, with Tom Caswell calling it Game of the Year material.

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