Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Has Been Banned in Germany

Despite being nearly 20 years old, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory continues to be an active game on Steam, with multiple servers hosting the open, free-source multiplayer shooter from Activision and Splash Damage. Servers are still regularly available for players to hop on and enjoy, whether they are living in the U.S., France, Poland, and several other countries. However, it appears this will no longer be the case in Germany going forward, as the game seems to have been quietly hit with a ban.


Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, as mentioned above, is an open-source multiplayer title originally released in 2003 by previous series publisher Activision and developer Splash Damage. The game was originally planned to act as an expansion for 2001’s Return to Castle Wolfenstein before getting a standalone release as a multiplayer-only game. A single-player option for it was planned as well, but problems with it in development led Splash Damage to focus development time and resources on the multiplayer.

The ban on Germany’s Steam market was caught by Reddit user LongJonSiIver, who posted screenshots taken from SteamDB on the leaks and rumors subreddit. LongJonSiIver’s screenshots show Germany listed as being restricted, meaning players can’t purchase Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory from the country’s Steam store. This is a change that hit the game in April 2022. However, as of the time of this writing, there has been no update about the game being outright banned on Germany’s Steam, as it is reportedly still available on Splash Damage’s Steam page.

While some players may be caught off-guard by the ban, it isn’t entirely surprising either given Wolfenstein‘s history with Germany’s censorship laws around Nazi imagery. Nazi censorship laws were adopted in the years following World War 2 as Germany, like the rest of Europe, recovered from Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party’s reign of terror. The country’s laws prohibit the disseminating and sharing of Nazi imagery, such as the swastika or wearing Nazi uniforms, and it treats any attempt to do so as hate speech.

These laws have been something Wolfenstein‘s various developers have had to work around given Nazis serve as the primary antagonists and, as a result, Nazi imagery is prevalent. Machinegames 2014 reboot, Wolfenstein: The New Order, had to remove Hitler’s mustache and swastikas from the game before it could be approved for sale in Germany. However, 2019’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood did not have to undergo any changes thanks to changes made to Germany’s laws in 2018, allowing for Nazi imagery to be used for educational or artistic reasons.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is currently available on Steam for players outside Germany.

Source: Reddit

Source: Gamerant

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