The recently released Commandos 2 – HD Remaster has been scrubbed of all depictions of Nazi Swastikas and the Rising Sun of Imperial Japan, with the game’s publisher citing outdated censorship laws and a “moral responsibility” as reasons to remove the symbols.

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster is, as the name implies, a remaster of Commandos 2: Men of Courage, a World War 2 themed RTS game which tasked players with completing a series of missions with the aim to cripple the German and Japanese forces. The game was developed for PC and console platforms by Pyro Studios and was originally released in 2001. The HD Remaster was developed by Torus Games and published by Kalypso Media on January 24th, 2020.

Prior to the HD Remaster’s release, a fan reached out to the Germany-based Kalypso Media on Twitter and asked the developer if “swastikas and blood” would be present in the German version of the game, to which Kalypso Media confirmed that the symbols would “not exist” in the game, “just like other banned symbols.”

The tweet translates to, “Are there swastikas and blood in the German version now? Censorship was the only thing that kept me from buying at the time. And with the new law, that should no longer be a problem.”

Kalypso Media responded:


Their response translates to:

“The law is still the same, only the USK has relaxed its rules to the extent that it now checks games with such content in the first place.

And no – swastikas will not exist in Commandos 2 – HD Remaster, just like other banned symbols.”

When pressed for an explanation for their decision to remove the symbols, Kalypso Media responded that “it’s about an attitude – and the moral responsibility that we, as a German publisher, see in our own right.”

The question translates to, “Last question, if I may. Is there a reason for this?  That this has been changed?  But is it still against the Nazi regime and not, as with Wolfenstein 2, about a fictional threat?”

Kalypso responded.

Their response translates:

“Nothing has changed in the game itself.

At the end of the day, it’s about an attitude – and the moral responsibility that we, as a German publisher, see in our own right.

In our eyes, it does not detract from the fun of playing to use alternative symbols such as the Iron Cross.”

Most likely due to the interaction occurring in German, Kalypso Media’s statements went unnoticed until the game’s release, at which point players began to notice that features such as German banner flags and Japanese war ships lacked the infamous symbols of their respective countries during WW2 and that certain instances of gore had been toned down, as seen in the below video by YouTuber SirRH:

Players soon took to the game’s Steam Discussion Page, with one particular topic titled “Censored Internationally? Wait… Why?” garnering over 400 individual posts. In response to the topic’s opening post, which asked “Why can’t publisher just use region-lock or something? Look at recent Wolfenstein for Christ sake!,” Unerde, a developer for the HD Remaster, stated that the symbols were removed out of a desire for “users to have the best experience with our games without causing potential delays or even being banned in certain countries”:

“Hi gamzrck,

there will only be one version of Commandos 2 HD Remaster internationally, and it will not incorporate any symbols, portraits, speeches or other assets that could break the law in many countries.

As a company, we are obliged to adhere to the law, but we want our users to have the best experience with our games without causing potential delays or even being banned in certain countries.

Therefore, we have decided on this course of action so that we will not be forced to split up groups of players or be unable to provide the game to specific regions at all.

-cheers”

As users continued to question the decision and Kalypso Media received backlash, Unerde would justify the company’s decision by reasserting that the company was “obliged to adhere to the law” in order to avoid “causing potential delays or even being banned in certain countries.”

“Hi everybody,

thank you for your passion and dedication about the game and your feedback.

Yet, the decision was made and we were as transparent as possible in advance, making everybody interested in the remaster aware of us making this game available in as many countries as possible,without splitting up the community with different versions and without moving the release date in many countries and/or in general in the far unforeseen future.

Not to mention, even though if some of you do not agree, that as a company, we are obliged to adhere to the law, but we want our users to have the best experience with our games without causing potential delays or even being banned in certain countries, as stated already above.

-cheers”

However, despite the company’s continual reference to “the law” preventing the use of Swastika and Rising Sun imagery, no such laws currently exist in any country. Germany, who had previously banned Swastikas from being featured in video games, repealed their ban on the use of the Nazi image in full in 2018. With their reference to the rating body USK, who now inspects and approves each project requesting to use the symbol, it is possible that Kalypso Media sought to avoid the inspection process all together in order to make their shipping date.

As of writing, Kalypso Media has announced no plans to release a version which restores the original imagery.

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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