Fallout 3 Manages To Get Unbanned In Germany

In a case involving fighting against actual government censorship, it’s been revealed that Bethesda managed to successfully unban the uncensored version of Fallout 3 in Germany after it was added to a list that prevented it from being sold in the country with a rather… controversial past.

IGN Germany is reporting that the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors, shortened to BPjM, have acknowledged Bethesda’s appeal to unban the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC version of Fallout 3 after the uncensored version of the game was added to the banned list seven years ago. According to the Fallout Wiki the censored version of Fallout 3 was still available for release in Germany but without dismemberment, blood splatter or gore.

Traditionally the appeal for removing a game from the banned list is supposed to be made 10 years after a piece of media has been added to the list, but things were expedited for Bethesda, with a representative for the BPjM stating…

“In the case of Fallout 3 the request for de-listing was granted even though only seven years passed since the game was banned,” […] “The Big Council decided at its meeting on February, 4th that Fallout 3 will be removed from the list because its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today’s perspective.”

Oh really? It’s interesting that as technology advances and more polygons are introduced into the electronic entertainment ecosphere the big government begins to see that older titles may not be as gamy towards the minds of the youth as they once feared. But given that Fallout 3 was rated for a target above those in their late teens it’s more-like the German government sees the game as being a bigger influence on its grown-arse citizens, which most reasonable citizens should find to be rather offensive.

Some are speculating that this move is in relation to Bethesda potentially re-releasing Fallout 3 as an HD remaster for the Xbox One and PS4. If that’s the case then they’re about a year too late and one backwards compatible update too slow to the party. The problem is that Fallout 4 is already out and available and you can already play Fallout 3 on the Xbox One via backwards compatibility. There is literally no benefit in re-releasing the game again in HD for the home consoles, especially when you can just get the PC version and enjoy it with the benefit of mods… sweet, sweet, delicious and nutritious mods.

Well, IGN was actually curious about this and decided to ask Bethesda directly what the motivation was behind having the game unbanned so many years later. According to a representative of Bethesda, they simply stated…

“We cannot give a statement at the moment, but will answer your questions in a couple of weeks”

Well that doesn’t clear everything right up.

Nonetheless, gamers can find out what Bethesda has planned for Fallout 3 and why they had it unbanned in Germany when they explain themselves in a couple of weeks. I don’t know how interested gamers will be considering that the first bit of DLC will have launched for Fallout 4 and most people will likely be too engrossed to care about the politics of censorship.

(Main image courtesy of Mayali)

[Update: Made a correction about the uncensored version not being available in Germany.]


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

4 thoughts on “Fallout 3 Manages To Get Unbanned In Germany

  1. Why are all sites saying that the game was flatout banned here? This “only” applies to the uncensored versions, we had a censored one that removed all gore.
    Anyway it would be difficult to justify keeping it banned I guess since they approved of uncensored versions of New Vegas Ultimate Edition, Fallout 4 and MKX. I’d say this is thanks to laws that we got after our last school shooting in 2009, which make it simply illegal for shops to sell 18+ titles to minors. Since then game censorship here is decreasing.

    1. You know, I remember hearing something about this. I’ll look a bit more into it and update the article with the relevant info.

      I kind of thought that there was a version sold in Germany but I wasn’t really sure if they banned it after allowing the censored version or if they had some other ruling in place. But thanks for mentioning that there was a censored version allowed.

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