Fallout 3 No Longer Banned in Germany - Report
The game was de-listed because "its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today's perspective."
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Bethesda's 2008 role-playing game Fallout 3 launched in Germany edited to show less violence than the versions of the game for North America and other parts of the world. The game was listed with Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors, apparently effectively blocking it from sale in the country. Now, the publisher has appealed to the government organization to reconsider their ruling, and according to IGN Germany (via IGN Middle-East), the group voted to unban the game.
According to the report, this was a seriously involved process that included "detailed application letters, costs of up to several thousand Euros, and scrutiny from a 'Big Council' of 12 delegates made of German community organizations, State Assessors, and Department of Media Harmful to Minors Group Members."
The Department of Media Harmful to Minors explained that Fallout 3 was removed from the list because "its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today's perspective."
Asked for further comment, a Bethesda representative told GameSpot: "Recall that the German release had lower violence. Not related to anything other than our German office asking them to reconsider their original ruling, particularly in light of the recent release of Fallout 4."
Perhaps more interestingly, Bethesda told IGN Germany that it will have more news to share regarding Fallout 3's de-listing in Germany "in a couple of weeks."
Bethesda petitioned the German government to de-list Fallout 3 three years before the end of the regular ten-year sentence, according to the report, suggesting the company has some kind of further plans. None of this is confirmed however. We will have more on this story as information becomes available.
Fallout 3 is not the first high-profile game to be banned or edited in Germany. Most recently, in the German version of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Nazis are called "The Regime" and no Swastikas are shown. It's also not the first time Bethesda has successfully won an appeal to have a game unbanned, as the German government lifted its ban on Doom in 2011 after 17 years.
In other Fallout news, Bethesda has announced Fallout 4's three expansions. One of these, Far Harbor, is set in a post-apocalyptic version of Maine's Bar Harbor and is the largest landmass Bethesda has ever made for an add-on.