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Scores of controversial games, spanning an era of over twenty years, have just been pulled from the German Steam store.  

The removed games:

    Aliens versus Predator Classic
    Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold
    Blood: One Unit Whole Blood
    Blood II: The Chosen + Expansion
    BloodRayne
    BloodRayne 2
    Carmageddon Max Pack
    Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now
    Harvester
    Kingpin — Life of Crime
    MALE
    Painkiller: Black Edition
    Painkiller Hell & Damnation
    Painkiller Overdose
    Postal
    Postal 2
    Postal 3
    POSTAL Redux
    Rise of the Triad
    Rune Classic
    Shadow Warrior Classic Redux
    SiN Episodes: Emergence
    Star Wars Dark Forces
    The Chaos Engine
    TimeShift
    UberSoldier II

Various bundles that include the removed titles have also been pulled:

    Carmageddon Complete Pack
    Lucasarts Jedi Knight Bundle
    Nordic Games Classic Mix
    Painkiller Complete Pack
    Painkiller Hell and Damnation Standard 4-pack
    Painkiller Hell and Damnation Collectors
    POSTAL 2 4-Pack
    POSTAL 2 + Paradise Lost
    Rise of the Triad – 4 Pack
    Star Wars Collection – 2015 -RP
    The Apogee Throwback Pack
    The Chaos Engine 2-Pack

Whilst there has been no official word from the folks at Valve, this seems to have been done due to the titles appearing on The List of Media Harmful to Young People (also known as The Index).

This list is a collection of media that have various possible restrictions placed upon them to protect children from media deemed unsuitable. It includes things such as games, music, books and movies, and is run by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Person, a branch of the German government.

When a title is placed on the list, it is placed in one of two categories. Games placed on List A are unable to receive a USK rating, the German equivalent of the ESRB, preventing an official German release. It also means buyers of foreign versions must not make the game’s content accessible to minors in any way. List A games can’t be advertised and physical copies can’t be openly sold.

That sound bad? Well, for List B games things get much worse. When titles are placed in this category they can’t be sold at all within Germany, so no more selling stuff under the counter for example.

Steam has consistently removed these games from the German store. Alekhine’s Gun is the most recent example of a game being removed in Germany, with this being due to its use of Nazi symbols which grants an automatic ban in this region.  

It appears that they have just done some cleaning up of titles that somehow managed to slip by. Although, how such controversial games as Harvester (seen above) and Postal managed to slip by unnoticed is sure confusing.


Censored Gaming

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  • webkilla

    well – Germany has a complicated relationship with censorship. I’m not familiar with their legislation on age restriction of adult or mature content, but ya… this’ll only promote more piracy of those games

  • MGNoxa

    Why was Bloodrayne banned? Surely all of the nazi symbols in that game were removed. Bloodrayne was awesome and now German gamers are going to have a hard time getting access to it.

  • Crizzyeyes

    >Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold
    You wot?

  • Rurik

    Why is it mostly old games and lol ” Aliens versus Predator Classic”???

  • FREECELL.EXE

    Germany get your shit together for fuck’s sake. One thing is having this retarded law the other is actually enforcing it on 20 year old games.

  • It wasn’t officially released in Germany. Whilst the PC version was
    sorta censored (even though it wasn’t released in Germany), it was done
    lazily and some Nazi stuff remains.

  • Well, the fact they are old is probably why they managed to slip by. But still, it blows my mind that games like Harvester went unnoticed.

  • I’m not really familiar with it as of yet but it was indexed on 31/01/95. Did it contain Nazi stuff or something?

  • Reminded of Hotline Miami and how the devs told Aussies to pirate it haha.

  • DrearierSpider

    Germany needs to get the Muslim migrants hooked on these games, Overlord Merkel will then surely bow down to their wishes and unlist them from The Index.

  • Well to be fair, things have been much better recently with the exception of Nazi content in games. Mortal Kombat X got investigated but, after a long process, was deemed suitable for a official release! So yeah, MKX was released uncensored – one of the most brutal games of all time!

  • FREECELL.EXE

    Makes you wonder what kind of standards they’re applying. I believe it might rhyme with bubble.

  • DrearierSpider

    As an American, the fact that some 1st world countries still pull this kind of shit really amazes me.

  • Iconoclast

    Wolfenstein probably.

  • Damn, they removed Star Wars: Dark Forces? That’s surprising since it’s pretty tame. :/

  • FREECELL.EXE

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I guess there really isn’t an objective way to review something that is inherently subjective. I hear the same thing happens with the MPAA except I don’t think they get a second try, but similar films sometimes get completely different ratings, and being more harsh with sex scenes rather than violence.

    At least with Germany I kind of understand the impulse for this sort of system being in place. There’s still a lot of perceived guilt as an undertone, but this shit has to stop eventually, it’s so fucking nonsensical and childish.

  • Iconoclast

    If it is any consolation the standarts to what constitutes “harmful to minors” are eroding with every year. 10 years ago Doom 4 would have never made it through.

    If any of the publishers would have balls they would go to the Federal Consititutional Court to have Video Games once and for all declared art rather than toys, the censortship issue would go away. At worst said video games would get the porn treatment.

  • PoldaranOfZam

    S-Star Wars? Really?

  • Iconoclast

    The whole violence aspect got a lot of attention over school shootings in the early 2000s, you know. “The new rock and roll” and all that.

    At least the laws when they were revised back then got a great deal of judicial security for the publisher, i.e. once you have an approved rating the state can’t take it away. Before the change the rating agency and the censorship board worked independently, hence C&C Generals was initially rated 16+ but got sacked for being a little to close to reality after 9/11 later.

  • Dom The Elegy

    As a German, this is so infuriating to me. Not because those are games that I’d want or anything like that but simply because it goes against the very notion that they’re trying to promote.
    Germany is incredibly sensitive when it comes to imagery related to WWII, especially the swastika, SS symbols and such. But removing them tries to pretend like those times never happened. You’re not protecting a younger generation from some kind of magic that will turn them into fascist assholes, you’re denying them the chance to learn about their history. Nazi Germany is part of this country’s history, you can never undo that and neither should you try because those forgetting the past are doomed to repeat it (which is horribly apparent when looking at recent elections).

    There’s also the whole issue that censorship by its very nature does /NOT/ belong in a democracy. It is a tool of dictatorships to silence voices they deem unworthy.
    I mean did they /really/ forget THIS!?

  • Dom The Elegy

    I was directly affected by that shit back in the day. A few days after the shooting in Emsdetten my oh so lovely classmates sent the cops after my ass. They surveyed my house for several hours and eventually made their move with 6 armed policemen, turning the place upside down, searching for weapons I presumably got off the internet. Shit was nuts.

  • Garbagio Dumpsterino

    Also the weird thing is, most of these games you are actively trying to defeat the Nazis.

  • DrearierSpider

    Are you joking? The UK government is currently heavily regulating porn. And any censorship here in the states is coming from the ridiculous, regressive leftist outrage culture that permeates almost all western countries today, not the government itself.

  • GuitarAnthony

    How dare they remove Chaos Engine! Legendary Bitmap Brothers games!

  • Gary Townsend

    it isn’t left or right kid, your american government is a police state and you’re just too naive to see it. but keep deluding yourself.

  • Nathan Clark

    Americans don’t ban boobs. Private companies may choose to do it, but unlike Europe, the government doesn’t get involved.

  • Yeah, there’s quite a few games with nudity in it to some degree that you can buy with just a credit card basically.

  • Bruh, we do bad stuff but we are far from a police state.

  • Note that basically none of these games are from huge companies. If DOOM 4 were an indie game released by a small company I wager it would have been banned.

  • It’s simply fascism from the other direction. Best way to dispel bad ideas is out in the open.

    We have neo-nazi parades in America because, well, they’re allowed to do that so long as they’re peaceful. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of people here do not take them seriously.

    But we don’t stop them, either.

  • Dom The Elegy

    The censorship doesn’t just affect schlocky shooters but all types of media. Like I said, it’s like people want to pretend nothing at all happened. And you definitely can make the argument that playing something like Battlefield 1942 (shut up, I’m old) can spark someone’s interest to read up about how these battles actually went. It’s less about the medium itself educating (which it might still do, but in a /very/ surface level way) but instead be a motivator to do research on your own. Because like you said, the school system is way too dull and rigid to properly convey these topics.

    And if anything censorship is giving the whole thing more power because it gives it a sense of the forbidden and mysticism. The best way to oppose something is to show what it is in broad daylight, let it destroy itself.

    Example: there is a very right wing political party in the UK (British National Party) who actually managed to accumulate a healthy portion of votes in some elections a few years ago. As a result of this their leader Nick Griffin was invited to do an interview with BBC which upset people greatly. They were saying that people with that kind of thinking shouldn’t be given a platform, that it would somehow brainwash people into becoming huge racist assholes themselves. The interview happened nonetheless and guess what happened, the support for that party basically vanished over night because people saw for the first time what that party was /actually/ like.

    The job of the government and organisations that rate media should be to inform people, not try to parent adults and certainly not censor free expression.

  • Solution is easy. Don’t censor stuff. We have neo nazis in America, no one takes them seriously. Probably because we can see just how silly they are right in the open.

  • Dom The Elegy

    Exactly what I’m saying. People don’t support parties like AFD because they’re right wing extremists or racists, most of them vote out of spite or anxiety. And because media coverage on those extremist parties is so poor because people think they’re dangerous, the voters never get a real clear picture of them. That’s a horrible thing to do because you can’t make informed decision without information, that’s just the nature of it.

  • lokitoth

    Here’s a new meme: “Holocaust censorship is the new Holocaust denialism.”

    In other words, the German government are officially Holocaust deniers.

  • Dom The Elegy

    And they have been for quite some time. This censorship is hardly new, it actually got less obnoxious in fact.

  • Rakeela Deskairn

    No-platforming is paternalistic bullshit. Censorship creates dark, damp spaces where rotten ideals can grow like fungus. Sunlight is a superior disinfectant.

  • MusouTensei

    Back in the days censorship was rampant here, killing humans was a no go (that’s why we have Probotector insted of Contra) and even though the german localization changed all mentioning of deadly force to tranqualizing it still got indexed (death scerams an all are still there).
    Now, it’s still on the index but if EA would get it retested like many other games of the past were, and as a result taken from the index, I’m 100% sure Dark Forces would probably even get a 12+ rating or at least 16+ since it’s not really violent by today’s standards. It is the duty for the publisher though to get something retested and it costs money of course.
    1 example is resident Evil 2 and 3 who in their uncensored form were both on the index, after retesting them last year or so for a PSN rerelase, they are now 16+ games.

  • MusouTensei

    No it’s illegal and they can get sued for selling 18+ content to minors.

  • MusouTensei

    Back in the days censorship was rampant here, killing humans was a no go
    (that’s why we have Probotector insted of Contra) and even though the
    german localization changed all mentioning of deadly force to
    tranqualizing it still got indexed (death scerams an all are still
    there).
    Now, it’s still on the index but if EA would get it retested
    like many other games of the past were, and as a result taken from the
    index, I’m 100% sure Dark Forces would probably even get a 12+ rating or
    at least 16+ since it’s not really violent by today’s standards. It is
    the duty for the publisher though to get something retested and it costs
    money of course.
    1 example is resident Evil 2 and 3 who in their
    uncensored form were both on the index, after retesting them last year
    or so for a PSN rerelase, they are now 16+ games.

  • MusouTensei

    I’m sure most games not containing nazi symbolic could be taken from the index like it happened with many games in recent past like Doom 1 and 2 (they did that for the Doom 3 HD remaster), I mean nowadays they have a USK 16 and the newest Doom is a USK 18 game, uncensored and widely available. Especially Dark Forces should be taken off.
    The thing is though, it’s the publisher’s duty to get a game retested and it costs money of course.

  • nononanon

    The solution is not to censor things. It’s not easy, but it isn’t complicated.

  • Vitor Santos

    painkiller and timeshift? really? wat

  • Hrrmn

    They’re taking an authoritarian stance to prevent fascism. It makes perfect sense, like shooting yourself in the head to make sure no one kills you.

  • Kev Lew

    that is a very specific list of games that have been publicly pointed at as “miss-leaders of children” despite many having a 15-18 ESRB rating due to content.
    question 1, what parent buys a 15-18 rated title for a child then complaint about the content AFTER purchase.
    question 2, 10+ year old games would by now have some proven and recorded side effects. Where is the evidence to support these claims?

  • bigevilworldwide1 .

    Whats Doom 4? Haven’t played it yet is it any good, or is it as good as the Doom 2016 reboot…..Not sure why people feel the need to assign numbers to game like the idiots that called WaW COD 5….. Its just Doom, its not a sequel to anything its a reboot of the series that doesn’t make it Doom 4

  • bigevilworldwide1 .

    Considering there is Aliens v Predator 2010, they did probably feel the need to distinguish it as classic not the 2010 game that nobody played…

  • bigevilworldwide1 .

    Wait, wait, wait….You mean like when Nintendo of Murica forced Id to remove all swastikas and hitler from Wolfenstein 3D on SNES. Or when the 2002 Spider-man trailer had to be pulled because it had the trade center towers in it…Or hell ANY film shot in NY that ALL studios had to physically go in and digitally remove anything involving the Trade Center towers…….Or maybe we should discuss the 1000000000 times that the Jesus freaks in Murica wanted to ban porn and make it illegal, while also trying to push their beliefs about abortions on the general public……Don’t try to pretend that Murica doesn’t do equally as stupid crap…….The RepubliKKKans cry and cry about anyone who can’t say Muslim terrorist, meanwhile the Christian terrorist aren’t even labeled as anything other than mentally disturbed even though they ARE Christian Terrorists

  • Galbador

    This is one of those days, where I just love this wonderful country, that “protects us from bad video games”… OH WELL, back to Pirate Bay. Sorry devs, I wish I could throw money at you, but the law in my country says I mustn’t. Sorry.

  • Crazy Cat Lord

    It’s basically like this: The way you guys feel about sex, nudity and swearing is the way we feel about excessive violence.

    In the US, a nipple slip is a national emergency. In Germany, you could see full frontal nudity in shower gel commercials during daytime TV in the 1990s. But we’re kind of squeamish about kids learning how to commit gun massacres or beat sex workers to death with a baseball bat, so there’s that kind of censorship.

    Or there was anyway. Nowadays, we simply order our games from the UK via Amazon or eBay, thanks to open borders and open trade within the EU. And today’s kids simply torrent them I assume, just like my generation traded floppy disks with pirated indexed 8- and 16-bit games on the schoolyard.

  • Crazy Cat Lord

    I rarely buy games anymore and if I do, I’m not interested in particularly violent ones, but I order everything from online stores in the UK anyway. German localizations have always been terrible even if they aren’t censored or cut. Of course that hurts German retailers, but that’s the price we have to pay for censoring (and badly translating/dubbing) our media.

  • DrearierSpider

    None of those things are the government, in written law, banning media. And I never said we don’t do stupid shit here in the states, just that the government dictating what we can and cannot read, watch, play, etc. is a mind boggling concept to me.

  • kingemocut

    if they can’t get money from the sale anyway, fuck it and pirate!

  • I knew of the Contra Hard Corps thing, and yeah these companies need to get their old games retested/appealed for Germany and other countries.

  • Miglet32

    That’s some Fahrenheit 451 shit right there.

  • Dom The Elegy

    And not just Contra. Doom was indexed for almost 2 decades before being retested.

  • GrimFate

    I’ve always really liked Germany; the language, food, culture. But shit like this will prevent me from ever wanting to live there.

  • Iconoclast

    It is afaik a throwback to the early FPSs, fast movement, (just enough) health and ammo pick-ups, plenty of gore, all spiced up by a few modern improvements like execute anymations. The (non-Polygon) LPs look great and if I have money left over I will buy the game.

    And yes, you are still fighting demon hordes on Mars.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    It’s been years since I played it, but I don’t remember seeing anything related to Nazis in it – it was basically just a sci-fi shooter. However, I do believe it was built on the Wolfenstein engine, so it is very possible they banned it because of the relation, and not the actual content.

  • GrimFate

    Yeah, I envy the American way of handling free speech and expression. We’re not too bad in NZ, though; we have only banned a small number of games. (I think we’ve only banned Postal 2 and Manhunt for pointless violence, the Reservoir Dogs game because violence – something to do with using police as shields if I remember correctly – and RapeLay for obvious reasons.)

    But games banned here are classified as “objectionable”, which is the same category as banned porn gets, which could get you a serious fine or prison time. But I’m sure possessing a copy of Manhunt won’t get me the same sentence as the most horrific porn would. We also banned a Cradle of Filth t-shirt and an anime called Puny Puny Poemy (the latter being how I learned about the censorship laws, as I was looking forward to its release as a fan of the director’s previous work, Excel Saga.)

    Wish politicians would base their laws on reliable scientific data rather than morals… Time and time again we see that exposure to violent media doesn’t make you violent.

  • MusouTensei

    Many games really.

  • DEADBEEF

    I can understand removal of Nazi imagery, but removal of games like Doom and Postal is disappointing. It perpetuates the psychologically unhealthy belief that fiction consumed in a fictional context will cause children to act out there behavior in real life.

    The responsible policymakers need psychological help. They cannot tell the difference between fiction and reality. I do not want my children exposed to their deranged dogma.

  • DEADBEEF

    *learning how to commit*? Seriously? There’s a world of difference in a video game versus reality. Someone who plays Doom sure as hell isn’t going to learn how to be a gunman.

  • Nicki Ashley

    Awesome, tech raptor decided to hide my content, because I wanted the author of this article to watch a video on “fair use”. Not only was that comment tame, but it was also right. So much for Tech Raptor caring about free speech.

  • grgspunk

    You should see what’s going on over in South Korea. Their online infrastructure has a “Digital DMZ” that’s on-par with China’s great firewall–All porn sites and anything percieved to be pro-DPRK are blocked. A lot of US soldiers stationed there have to get VPNs to get their porn fix. All blogs, MMORPGs and comment sections have to make you register with your Korean social security number, and posting anything that could be construed as anti-government can get you in trouble with the law.

    Yeah, I said SOUTH Korea, not North.

  • Maniate

    “In Germany, you could see full frontal nudity in shower gel commercials during daytime TV in the 1990s.”

    That was so fucking cash growing up there and then. Bonus points for when hash dealers tried pulling guns 9 times out of 10 they weren’t actually real so you could laugh at them, while running.

  • DrearierSpider

    Wow, I never realized that, such a shame. I don’t want to make the US sound innocent, as we have more than our fair share of problems, but I’m pretty thankful we don’t have issues like that.

  • Monkey D. Dragon

    star wars really?????

  • #AYYTEAMLMAO

    government or not it doesn’t matter society is a system not just some set of rules everyone follows

    “government” bans violence and allows some degree of gayness here, but in fact bydlo beat and killing gays in rural villages with cops ignoring that fact at all

    so if there is any censorship it is censorship, system works as fast as it’s slowest part

  • #AYYTEAMLMAO

    killing negros on the streets
    while being actual police state with biggest amount of cops per civilian we have much less random killings by cops

    bruh most countries are equally shitty otherwise people from collapsing countries would just move into 1 country instead of spreading according to their taste all around the globe

  • #AYYTEAMLMAO

    they wouldn’t want to move to usa also
    you are trained to overcome your downsides and exploit upsides if you were moved to objectively better place you still would think that you got in hell becuse now all the rules are changed

    like i what to flee from here but i will never go to usa, i will never get a job there because of stuff i can openly say here

  • The only thing I learned from DOOM is that a double-barreled shotgun does more damage than a pump action for some reason.

  • Funnily enough, drug dealers tend not to shoot people for no reason in America even when the guns are real. Not in my experience, anyway.

    Even in the shittiest cities the cops tend to get really pissy when a gun is fired for some reason. Usually they’ll only shoot when they’re actually out to kill someone, and a lot of the death is often gang-on-gang violence which is a consequence of our crappy drug laws.

  • Sargon said in a recent livestream that, in his opinion, people tended to move right in times of crisis and move left in times of economic glut. Kinda makes sense to me.

  • Our comment system has been a bit wonky lately. I don’t handle the comments here but in my experience we tend not to remove stuff without a really good reason and a video on fair use doesn’t strike me as the kind of comment we’d remove. I’ll ask someone to have a look at it.

  • Nicki Ashley

    I appreciate it. Sorry for getting salty, I should have been a lot more polite about it. I apologize, and thank you.

  • I looked through our comments to see if it was caught in spam (sometimes perfectly fine posts do for some reason) but couldn’t find anything, unless you are referring to the comment on this article?

    http://techraptor.net/content/blizzard-removing-overwatch-porn#comment-2704983669

    If not, let me know because it is weird.

  • It’s okay, it’s understandable to be upset. I’m very pro free-speech myself, and we’re battling a new wave of censorship across the world on an unprecedented scale. I really can’t blame you for assuming the worst considering the state of many other sites, especially the big ones.

  • duder

    yep, keep believing that; over here we’re still laughing about your latest nipplegate 😀

  • Perfect freedom impedes perfect safety. Perfect safety impedes perfect freedom. As a society we have to decide what balance we want between the two. No easy answer or universal answer, simply put this the balance that Germany feels is the least worse option.

  • Strazdas

    In a sane world: Government officiasl that sanctioned this is put to jail for crimes against humanity.

    In the real world: Germany is being Germany again.

  • Strazdas

    They are wrong.

  • Strazdas

    Last week there were 5 people arrested for owning an anime game with nudity.

  • Strazdas

    “Basically there is a pool of people responsible for checking whether or not a game should be indexed.”

    Instant dislike. a group of folks should never in any situation decide what kind of art is and isnt to be allowed to be made.

  • Dom The Elegy

    Way too many, Doom is a standout title tho because it was so goddamn popular it was installed on more PCs than Windows 95 back in the day. And Germany is just like “nope”.

  • I agree, they are wrong. Censorship does not belong in a Democracy, but then again we are kidding ourselves if we believe that there are any true Democracies in this world – they just don’t work.

    Even the US, somewhere that people often tell me is a poster child of Democracy is not now, nor has it ever been one, it’s a Representative Republic that operates on Democratic principles.

  • MusouTensei

    I still played it as a child thanks to my uncle, the index really mostly affects people who wouldn’t go beyond their local stores.

  • Ryan Juel

    Yeah, Puni Puni Poemi almost didn’t make it in the United States, either. I recall Nabeshin mentioning a lot of very spirited conversations with ADV to ensure the series didn’t get censored too much.

  • Maniate

    It didn’t happen often, mostly when they were trying to rip us off.

  • Stilzkin

    Nuke this garbage country

  • MaxiTB

    Censorship. Literally.
    There is zero benefits to do this except fucking customers over.

  • GrimFate

    I’m glad to hear that he was fighting for his work not to be too censored.

  • Yeah thing is word gets out about that and then they lose customers. It’s really short-sighted on their part.

  • I don’t know, I don’t think it’s as clear cut. It makes sense to me that big companies would prepare for this stuff and censor things themselves, but there’s a lot of games that haven’t censored anything and still manage to pass. It makes me wonder if they would pass had they been from a smaller company that can’t afford to constantly re-submit the game.

  • Alexander Antonopoulos

    wtf is MALE?

  • Because the whole legislation these “bans” is based on barely saw use since. Other games were reevaluated and removed from the list, this weren’t, hence their old-timey “ban” still stands until the publishers apply for a recheck.

  • Yes, let outdated laws that saw use 20 years ago during the violent games craze in the media shape your views of the country today, where games like Mortal Kombat X get a simple 18+ rating and said laws almost never see use.

  • More like the devs/publishers don’t bother to apply for reevaluation to overturn 20 year old verdicts on a system that has massively changed since.

  • Galbador

    To be honest, I really don’t care anymore. This all is just a bad joke for me.

  • kberninger

    fucking ridiculous damn german pussies xD cant handle fake pixel blood
    really i played violent games since i was 6 i didnt kill anymone yet
    hmmm
    i wonder why because im not a fucking retard? any kid knows the
    difference between a game and reality at least i did germany should stop playing Babysitter and let the people do what they want XD