Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming Call of Duty: WW2 has a mode called Nazi Zombies. The mode, however, will not feature any Nazis iconography or symbolism. All Swastikas in the mode have been replaced with the German Iron Cross. One user thought a good recourse would be to remove the “Nazi” from “Nazi Zombies” if there weren’t going to be any Swastikas to signify that the zombies are actually Nazis. Well, Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder Michael Condrey took umbrage with this criticism, accusing the gamer of being a closet Nazi.
This reads to me as “I want a more racist and hateful symbol that helps me better associate with mass murder.” Is that your position, Zack?
— MCondrey @ #SDCC2017 (@MichaelCondrey) July 21, 2017
The Twitter feed quickly filled up with a lot of anger, a lot of finger-pointing, chiding, and some textual conflagration.
Some argued that you don’t need Swastikas to convey that the zombies are Nazis in the Nazi Zombie mode in Call of Duty: WW2. Others argued why they would even be called Nazi Zombies if the imagery doesn’t match? A few pointed out that Swastikas are banned in Germany for use as propaganda. Fewer more retorted that the Swastika are in fact used in the game’s single-player mode, so why aren’t they in the actual Nazi Zombies mode? There were even some Pepes accusing Condrey of trying to whitewash history by removing the symbol from multiplayer.
Stalemates and standstills were had over the argument about Swastikas. The gamer, Zack, however, responded to Condrey original inflammatory and rhetorical question, stating that he meant no offense and that he loves Call of Duty and that he is not a Nazi.
I respect you Mr.Condrey, i love your games and hyped for WWII. Im far from racist.I just really enjoy my history and CODNothing but respect
— Zach V🔥 (@King_BHawk) July 21, 2017
The Twitter exchange most definitely had more people reproaching Condrey for his attempt to Kafka-trap Zack into an admission of guilt than those defending Condrey.
Way to go Condrey. Disrespect a fan with a very hypocritical statement after twisting their words.
— long nose guy (@derpymeowrawr) July 21, 2017
Lol, it’s WWII and nazis are going to be in the game…… but apparently using the swatsika and wanting it in the game is racist 😂
— TheShindy (@ShindyPrime) July 21, 2017
It’s ridiculous how you are trying to justify the PC bullshit by twisting words of a fan.
— Nishith 🐼 (@iCogi) July 21, 2017
Plenty of fans were obviously not happy about how Condrey handled the exchange. However, this isn’t an incident that happens in an isolated vacuum. Previously Sledgehammer Games’ founders had mentioned that they didn’t want Swastikas in the multiplayer portion of the game because they didn’t want to glorify the symbol.
They did, however, want representation and diversity to be a big part of Call of Duty, even going as far as enabling gamers to become black female Nazis in multiplayer, just without the actual Swastikas.
The symbols were also removed from the Nazi Zombies mode, as mentioned above, which did cause a lot of gamers to scratch their heads given that – as Zach points out – why call it a Nazi Zombies mode if the actual Nazi symbols won’t be used?
Some gamers have claimed in the thread that they won’t be supporting Sledgehammer Games due to having a Liberal slant, but others don’t mind so long as the game is fun.
Funnily enough, even though Sledgehammer Games promised to feature more representation of “underrepresented” minorities in the game, Polygon still criticized Sledgehammer for the move because they claimed that the studio was only doing it as virtue signaling PR move, checking off the token minorities from list that are featured in the game in order to appease Social Justice Warriors.
Update: It appears Michael Condrey also told a black gamer he needs to be more “inclusive” and “welcoming” because the black gamer suggested not to have black female Nazis in the game.
Your bio says that you are a young & aspiring YTer so view this as coaching: Be a citizen of the world, my man. Be inclusive & welcoming.
— MCondrey @ #SDCC2017 (@MichaelCondrey) July 24, 2017
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)