Bad Bundestag: Germany Not Limiting Loot Boxes

Those sexy, sexy loot boxes.

Continue reading “Bad Bundestag: Germany Not Limiting Loot Boxes”

[Not Massive] Germany Allows Swastikas In Games/Depictions of Hitler

Depicting Nazi imagery in video games has been illegal in Germany for quite some time now. The law has come under a fair amount of criticism over the years as while it has a “social adequacy” rule that has allowed films and TV series to get by (Inglorious Bastards for example), video games have not been subject to the same treatment. Developers responded to these rules often going down humorous routes such as Soldier of Fortune 2’s storyline being rewritten to replace Nazis with robots that take over the world and then start imitating human life (a prequel to Job Simulator to be sure), and The Last Crusade showing a world where Adolph Hitler leads the Black Square regime

Well it looks like the times they are a’changing, and Germany will be allowing on a case-by-case review the approval and age-rating of games depicting Nazi imagery such as the Swastika and Iron Cross, as well as the character of Adolph Hitler. According to Games Wirtschaft, the catalyst for this change was the 2017 release of Wolfenstein 2, where in order to skirt German regulations, developer MachineGames removing Hitler’s mustache and having him referenced in the game as the Chancellor.

It should be noted that this is not a blanket approval of Nazi imagery, and that games will still have to be approved to ensure that they are within existing German law.

(Source: Games Wirtschaft)

Germany Outlaws Pre-Orders With Vague Release Dates

In the gaming industry, it’s become increasingly common for retailers to offer pre-orders earlier and earlier into a game’s development, promising vague release dates like “coming soon” or “spring 2019.” If you’re in Germany, this won’t be an issue moving forward, as the Higher Regional Court of Munich has ruled that such tactics are illegal.

Originally decided in regards to the smartphone sector of the electronics market, retailers are no longer allowed to sell pre-orders for items without a concrete date that the item will arrive by. Presumably this will lead to retailers and manufacturers using placeholder dates, which stores in the United States like Gamestop and WalMart have a tendency to place on their websites once a game is announced.



Diablo III Under Investigation In France, Germany, South Korea

Those of you paying attention here at MMO Fallout know from a previous article that Blizzard is currently under investigation by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission over complaints that Blizzard did not deliver on service for Diablo III players, and refused to offer refunds for those who could not access the game due to consistent server downtime. Blizzard’s offices were raided and the investigation is currently ongoing, but likely to end up in favor of the consumer.

In France, Blizzard was given 15 days by the consumer bureau to fix connections regarding Diablo III, an issue which still plagues the game in every continent. They are also asking Blizzard to compensate players for damages accrued due to downtime, and are requesting a formal investigation into the use of always-on DRM. If the server stability is not met, the consumer bureau intends on taking Blizzard to court.

In Germany, however, the issue is a little different. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations has stated that Blizzard is being held accountable for anti-trust violations. Diablo III is being investigated for not disclosing on boxes that the game required an internet connection to play in single player, as well as not disclosing that the game was unable to be resold due to the permanent connection with one’s account. Or if you want to use the original German translation, Blizzard are being investigated for Wettbewerbsverstöße abzugeben, which sounds a whole lot more threatening.

Granted, neither of the French or German groups have the power to impose punishments on Blizzard, they will have to take the company to court and have a judge hand down a verdict.

(Source: Incgamers)

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