THQ recently got Red Faction off of Germany’s list of media considered harmful to young persons, aka “The Index,” and now they’ve done it again. Red Faction II was also taken off the list.
“We will of course still be nurturing our extensive games portfolio that now comprises over 265 titles, and will do our utmost to ensure that gamers can play our games in the future.” says Jans Binsmaier, Publishing Director at THQ Nordic.
It may have taken sixteen years, but Red Faction and it’s sequel are now cleared of German censorship which prevented the game from even being sold in the country. Germany’s longstanding censorship issues over video games is almost laughably draconian, it has caused countless games to be edited and edited and edited to avoid being placed on the “index.”
Germany’s censorship problems are an ongoing issue for game devs that rarely gets much attention, even though German releases of games are held up in development just because of the lengths developers have to go to in order to bring their games to the country. At least in some form.
The governing body of the index is known by its German initials BPjM, and their mission statement is pretty simple. They “seek to protect minors from content it feels could “endanger their process of developing a socially responsible and self-reliant personality.” Which means games can be banned for a whole lot of content. According to Polygon‘s report on the original Red Faction repeal, that content can be anything from “extreme violence, discrimination, anti-Semitism or racism, as well as the glorification of National Socialism, drugs, alcohol abuse, self-inflicted injury or suicide.” Red Faction was banned due to violence.
“In Red Faction, the boundaries between good and evil are therefore blurred,” the BPjM wrote, “not only on the part of the victims, but also on the part of the heroes: the fundamentally good Parker, who is pursuing a just cause with the rebellion, must become a murderer to achieve his objective.”
It’s a good day for THQ Nordic, though they do plan to make sure all of their titles are off the index, which will likely require more work in the future. But they’ve got at least a couple of wins on the censorship front now.