Pete Hines, Bethesda's VP for PR and marketing, has branded the reaction to Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus's trailers "disturbing," adding: "We don't feel it's a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American."
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz Hines touched upon the reaction to Wolfenstein 2's latest ad, which encourages players to "Make America Nazi-Free Again." Drawing clear parallels to current US politics, including Donald Trump's presidential slogan "Make America Great Again," Hines spoke up about the criticisms Bethesda had received in the wake of the trailer's release.
"We're certainly aware of current events in America and how they relate to some of the themes in Wolfenstein 2," Hines said. "Wolfenstein has been a decidedly anti-Nazi series since the first release more than 20 years ago. We aren't going to shy away from what the game is about. We don't feel it's a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we're not worried about being on the right side of history here."
— Wolfenstein (@wolfenstein) October 5, 2017
"At the time none of us expected that the game would be seen as a comment on current issues, but here we are," Hines continued. "Bethesda doesn't develop games to make specific statements or incite political discussions. We make games that we think are fun, meaningful, and immersive for a mature audience."
Hines then touched upon the events of Charlottesville, which saw a group of white supremacists and nationalists marching through the city with torches, ultimately leading to the murder of a counter-protester. "In Wolfenstein's case, it's pure coincidence that Nazis are marching in the streets of America this year," he concluded. "And it's disturbing that the game can be considered a controversial political statement at all."
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will take place in an alternate timeline where Nazis won the Second World War and, as a result, have invaded the US in order to bolster their fascist regime. The series' longtime protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz is sent on a mission to overthrow the German army, in an effort to free the country from the evil dictatorship and restore peace by any means necessary.