Dead Island has been banned in Germany and both the developer and the publisher have reacted with a yawn.
Germany has a well-deserved reputation for being a little on the uptight side when it comes to videogame regulation. Its “over the line and out the door” approach to game censorship can be awfully constricting; just ask Activision, which was forced to recall the German release of Wolfenstein in 2009 because of a single, errant and awfully hard-to-see swastika that made it into the game, thereby putting it in violation of the country’s laws against Nazi-related symbols. But in a warped way, it can also be kind of liberating. If you know your game isn’t going to make it under the wire anyway, you might as well just step right over it.
“This isn’t unexpected. Germany has its unique regulations regarding videogames and violence and the industry can only comply,” a rep from Techland, the studio that created the game, told Eurogamer. “Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning.”
The game has been classified as “List B,” described as “youth-endangering media,” which means that it cannot be legally sold in Germany and that German customs will seize any imported copies they discover. The Koch Media Group, the parent company of Dead Island publisher Deep Silver, is actually a German company itself but said it didn’t break any home town rules.
“We did not distribute or sell Dead Island in Germany”, a Koch Media rep said. “The intention was to bring the game to the international markets, as the product seems to be better suitable for audiences abroad.”