In a recent interview GamesIndustry.biz conducted with Bethesda’s VP of marketing, Pete Hines, they talked about how the social media marketing for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has gone decidedly proactive in making political statements while promoting the game, specifically suing the hashtag: #NoMoreNazis.
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 5, 2017
Hines – speaking on behalf of Bethesda – defended the company’s dabbling into the current, highly-charged political climate canvassing America. He explains that Bethesda is both aware of America’s climate and that they’re making a statement with the game and its longstanding theme of killing Nazis, saying…
“We’re certainly aware of current events in America and how they relate to some of the themes in Wolfenstein II,” [… ] “Wolfenstein has been a decidedly anti-Nazi series since the first release more than 20 years ago. We aren’t going to shy away from what the game is about. We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we’re not worried about being on the right side of history here.”
Bethesda and MachineGames have been slowly ramping up the talking points of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to make a decided statement about the current direction America is heading in.
Some of the gameplay videos and trailers have also included comments about how the developers feel about the topic of Nazism, multiculturalism, and “being on the right side of history”.
Some have argued that Bethesda and MachineGames are using Wolfenstein II as propaganda for Antifa. The YouTube comment sections for each of the videos are littered with people complaining about Communists being worse than Nazis, while others have argued that portraying the Nazis as an efficient, clean, organized society paints the multicultural “good guys” in a bad light as anarchists and societal destabilizers.
Hines, however, argues that the message is about freeing America from a tyrannical regime, telling GI.biz…
“[In the game] freeing America is the first step to freeing the world. So the idea of #NoMoreNazis in America is, in fact, what the entire game (and franchise) is about. Our campaign leans into that sentiment, and it unfortunately happens to highlight current events in the real world.”
Some have written the game off as “Liberal propaganda”, others simply see it as a continuation of Wolfenstein’s storied history of allowing you to kill Nazis, defeat the occult, and overcome mechanized terrors.
There’s a growing trend of discomfort among gamers about the overt-politicization of some games, especially as they tie into current day politics. However, Hines states that Bethesda doesn’t mind alienating gamers or potential customers who are Nazi-sympathizers, saying…
“We can’t speak to what other publishers choose to do and say with their games,”
“As we’ve said many times before, fighting Nazis has been the core of Wolfenstein games for decades, and it isn’t really debatable that Nazis are, as Henry Jones Sr. said, ‘the slime of humanity.’ Certainly there’s a risk of alienating some customers, but to be honest, people who are against freeing the world from the hate and murder of a Nazi regime probably aren’t interested in playing Wolfenstein.”
We’ll see if the politically-motivated marketing campaign pays off for them when Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus launches on October 27th, for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and next year for the Nintendo Switch.