ALL THE LATEST NEWS ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF PC GAMES

News

Gamescom 2019 - MachineGames says it never meant Wolfenstein titles to be relevant and that it's "incredibly disappointing" that they are

Gamescom 2019 - MachineGames says it never meant Wolfenstein titles to be relevant and that it's "incredibly disappointing" that they are

MachineGames senior game director Andreas Öjerfors has said it's "incredibly weird and disappointing" that the company's Wolfenstein games have become more relevant as time has moved on.

Speaking to PCGamesInsider.biz at Gamescom 2019, the developer said that the studio just wanted to make "interesting stories" with 2014's The New Order and that they were never intended to be relevant, but a change in the cultural zeitgeist has made them so.

Öjerfors also said that once it started working on 2017 follow-up, The New Colossus, the studio started to see more conversation about the game's theme - fighting the Nazis - being problematic.

"It's incredibly weird and disappointing. We never meant for our stories to be relevant, we wanted to tell great, interesting stories to the best of our abilities," he told PCGamesInsider.biz.

"But then, when we started to talk about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, we started to get comments online about the theme of the game, fighting the Nazis. Somehow some people felt that was problematic, which is just incredibly disappointing. We've seen an increase of right-wing extremism in the Western world. We see that online to a great degree. Right-wing extremists are great at affecting the debate online. And of course, maybe they abused us to whip up some anger when we were making Wolfenstein II."

You can keep up with all of PCGamesInsider.biz's Gamescom 2019 coverage right here


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched PCGamesInsider.biz in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.

Comments

3 comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies
manicminer77
Sorry, but politicising your game works both ways. You make your choice and live with it, you take to pros and the cons.

This guy says, 'We never meant for our story to be relevant', but the studio didn't promote this sentiment at all. I got the distinct impression they were all too happy to cash in on political emotions of the time to increase popularity and sales, especially with that ad campaign that made a link between historical Nazism and current day American citizens who simply have anything other than left wing viewpoints.

It was a divisive, toxic stance to take when promoting a game and now they seemignly whine that it backfired a bit?

The problem wasn't Nazis, it was some people's ecstatic and rabid belief that Nazi=Trump supporter, so they were spooging about being able to shoot video game enemies that represented fellow citizens they despise. Same thing happened in the build up to Far Cry 5. Of course that kind of rhetoric is gonna get blow-back.

Some reviewers, typically and unfortunately, stoked the fires and nonsense into their reviews that basically said, 'In an age where we are all angry about Trump and right wing politics, it's sooooo good to shoot Nazis'.

One reviewer actually wrote, 'If you're not a total piece of s&*t, you'll love Wolfenstein 2'.

Really? So the actual quality of the game is not the priority here? The basis of whether you like the game or not is down to your decency as a human being? Because shooting pixels in a video game is a strong political stance that announces your moral superiority?

Equating ring-wing leaning people to Nazis is borderline insane and something my grandfather thought was abhorrent. He felt that the Nazi idealogues were, thankfully, not representative of the average German. Most soldiers were ordinary folk who had been conscripted. Simple people who just wanted it all over with so they could go home. Bakers, factory workers, bricklayers, farmers etc,.

If a man who fought them can feel that way, what does it say about young people in particular that, in a supposedly enlightened and tolerant age where so many have nothing to worry about except choosing which Netflix series to bingewatch, they have nothing but simplistic, hate filled views of their fellow citizens? It's sad.

My take on the game? It really needed a greater variety of enemies. I'd have liked to see supernatural stuff or, at least, weirder, horrifying-experiment based enemies. I much preferred The Old Blood, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and even Ravensoft's version in terms of tone, enemies and setting. The game was fairly short and the levels and weapons were a bit bland too.
atmarebirth
so antifa goes around literallyt beating the shet out of people, and you guys equate make america great again slogan to "make america nazi free again" and want to equate that with "right wing extremism". no your games flopped because you shit on the players. you won't be around much longer as a studio

https://twitter.com/wolfenstein/status/916075551382585344
manicminer77
Yeah, very true.

They reaped what they sowed; anger and hate.

Gaming is supposed to bring people together to have fun, but if people/devs want to make real-life politics and division part of their games, then they have to expect that they'll upset as many people as they please.

In fact, they may upset even more because centrists such as myself, who loathe such toxicity and pointless antagonisation in a hobby I love, will frown upon tactics like MachineHead's and not support them.