Wolfenstein 2 Reaffirms its Commitment to Killing Nazis in New Ad

Wolfenstein 2 Reaffirms its Commitment to Killing Nazis in New Ad

Bethesda: "Our campaign leans into that sentiment, and it unfortunately happens to highlight current events in the real world."

Yesterday Bethesda put out a simple Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus ad with an easy-to-follow declaration: Make America Nazi-Free Again. It's a blunt ad that went about as well as you would imagine in 2017, with debates springing up on social media and Reddit regarding the depressingly controversial ad.

Wolfenstein 2 is Machine Games' follow-up to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Like the previous Wolfenstein game, and every Wolfenstein game before it, the goal of Wolfenstein 2 is to take down the Nazis by any means necessary. We previewed it recently and found it to be a wonderfully creative—and cathartic—experience. Even if Machine Games and Bethesda likes to remind everyone that when development of Wolfenstein 2 began, there was no way they could predict the relevance the game would go onto have with real-world events in 2017.

It's what makes the ad so refreshing to see Wolfenstein 2 finally lean into the eerie similarities it has within its own fictional Nazi America, and our actual America where neo-Nazis marched on Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year. Triple-A video games typically tend to avoid bold statements, but like Bethesda's VP of PR Pete Hines told GamesIndustry.biz today, "It's disturbing that Wolfenstein can be considered a controversial political statement."

The ad is already gaining traction on social media and sites like Reddit. One thread discussing the ad on r/PCGaming was already shut down, but another thread on r/Games, one of Reddit's most popular video games related subreddits, is already close to 2,000 comments. I won't link it here because digging through it is a maddening experience, but you can find it near the top of r/Games. Likewise, Twitter users have captured the frustratingly common sample of internet-goers who typically come out on behalf of Nazis—Nazi sympathizers if you will—in a series of tweets.

As Wolfenstein 2 prepares for its October 28 launch we will hopefully have more ads that highlight the game's proud tradition of anti-Nazism. As Hines says, "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."

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus comes out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 28, and on the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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