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Germany Bans Photoshop

At least that's what it looks like from the Left 4 Dead box art.

It's no secret that Germany has some very specific, very peculiar rules about the content of video games. What's good enough for the rest of the European Union is often not found suitable for der Deutchland. The usual triggers for a ban or a refusal of rating are intense violence and Nazi references, and the old joke is that the easiest remedies are to just swap in robots and green blood where necessary. Apparently these standards apply to box art too. As reported by Kotaku, here's the Left 4 Dead box as the rest of the world will see it.

























And here's the German-approved version.

























Yup, apparently Germany would rather keep its thumbs attached, thankyouverymuch. If this is all they can show of the box art, I cannot even fathom what the game itself will look like to our Bavarian brethren. "We've gotta take these filthy, mindless, bloodthirsty zombies out...on a field trip to the local science museum!" Coincidentally, it kind of ruins the magic of the original Left 4 Dead box art for me, having evidence that the model was just counting to four. It's a shame, because I'm profoundly amused by the 1:1 ratio of words to visual puns they've got going on. It's like I'm playing Classic Concentration, except that every solution revolves around Alex Trebek's insane desire to devour my brains.
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Posted by Ryan

It's no secret that Germany has some very specific, very peculiar rules about the content of video games. What's good enough for the rest of the European Union is often not found suitable for der Deutchland. The usual triggers for a ban or a refusal of rating are intense violence and Nazi references, and the old joke is that the easiest remedies are to just swap in robots and green blood where necessary. Apparently these standards apply to box art too. As reported by Kotaku, here's the Left 4 Dead box as the rest of the world will see it.

























And here's the German-approved version.

























Yup, apparently Germany would rather keep its thumbs attached, thankyouverymuch. If this is all they can show of the box art, I cannot even fathom what the game itself will look like to our Bavarian brethren. "We've gotta take these filthy, mindless, bloodthirsty zombies out...on a field trip to the local science museum!" Coincidentally, it kind of ruins the magic of the original Left 4 Dead box art for me, having evidence that the model was just counting to four. It's a shame, because I'm profoundly amused by the 1:1 ratio of words to visual puns they've got going on. It's like I'm playing Classic Concentration, except that every solution revolves around Alex Trebek's insane desire to devour my brains.
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Posted by LordAndrew

The zombies have been replaced by robots in Germany.

Posted by sionweeks

That is sad...

Posted by Stabbers_McGee

there is a left 4 dead billboard across the street from my apartment. its kinda creepy going to work each morning and seeing a giant dead hand

Posted by makari

The guns also shoot bouquets of flowers

Posted by Player1

Wow.

Posted by Milkman

/facepalm

Posted by Bucketdeth

That doesn`t even make sense, wasn`t the whole ripped thumb off idea to show it was a zombie type game? now it just looks like the guy is holding up four fingers, silly german government.

Posted by erinfizz

I play a ton of German board games, and they take violence/war references REALLY SERIOUSLY. There isn't even direct conflict in most of them, that's left to American games. I hadn't ever thought about the same rules applying to video games, it must be crazy trying to modify and release things for Germany.

Posted by Simsfreak14

EPIC Fail?

Posted by kitsune_conundrum

might as well photoshop everything and leave the middle finger behind

Posted by Terrell

Definitely not a big deal. If this really makes some people so "upset" that they don't purchase the game, then they weren't going to purchase it anyway. Either way, it's not that big of a deal, certainly not newsworthy in my opinion. The "visual gag" is still present: (A Dead, Left Hand putting up 4 fingers). It's just cultural differences, that's all...

Posted by NinjaHunter

Wasn't there a movie poster for War of the Worlds like the Left 4 Dead poster? Except it was an alien hand with 3 fingers.

Posted by MackGyver

Well, they just put the thumb back. What can I say? At least they didn't completely rework the box art. They did keep the hand in there.

Posted by albedos_shadow
Posted by Superspiritgun

i thought it would be a robot hand....really i did

Posted by Junpei

that's actually really sad....

Posted by zoozilla
"I just saw this on some other gaming site, its pretty sad how bad censorship has gotten in germany"

It makes you think, though - is it bad there because they won't allow such an image to be displayed to the public?

Or is it bad here because we do allow it?
Posted by Destroyeron

Hopefully if you live in Germany you live close to a border to hop across and buy the real version lol.

Posted by Scratch

Honestly not surprised at all. After a while, this is what you come to expect from Germany.

Posted by fatwreck

It's silly to get upset over cultural differences like this.  Sure it fudges the pun, but the game remains intact  I'm sure the Germans would scoff at Americans covering up all the beautiful nipples that come across the censor boards table.

Posted by PitifullPete

I still have my Carmageddon with Robots instead of humans and the green blood, was it C&C3? I can't remember.

Posted by ybouc

Love your writing style... :D

Posted by Peewi

Germany, stop censoring your games, you'll just make German gamers import their games.

Posted by Kohe321

In this version, the re-re-release, all the guns have been replaced with walkie-talkies, and the word Nazi has been replaced with: "Persons with political differences".

Posted by Red

Even though I live in Singapore....at least it's not germany.

Posted by dagas

They should put hardcore porn in the game instead because that is suitable for kids in Germany right? =P

Posted by TWiesengrund

To me as a German die-hard game fanatic it seems that the German regulation of game violence is not as bad as it once was. I remember playing the original Command&Conquer with those weird robot soldiers exploding in a cloud of oil. The metallic sound of them vaporizing (hitting a garbage can with a rabid cat) still haunts me in my dreams. Today nobody would give a f-bomb.

BTW: as der führer of the German board for orthography I have to say that it's not "der Deutchland", we don't use the article at all, so that it's "Deutschland". It's not "der waffle haus" house as well, it's "das Waffelhaus"! Keep that in mind, imperialist scumbags!

Posted by Daanienator

at least the German version could get a thumbs up!

Posted by Scooper

There should just be a big ol' pair of boobs on the cover for the German version because that's the only thing that'll get through.

Posted by Superchris129

LOL, we're even whining about box art now?

Posted by Death_Burnout

Since sex is "ok" in Germany and violence isnt, (ok, more so than violence at least) you cant help but make the backwards/opposite connection to our society...but when you think about it, their way is technically more logical.

I remember all the talk about Dead Rising in Germany, so im not surprised here really, still, only box art.

Posted by PapaLazarou

I feel sorry for the Germans they need to kick their goverment out.

Posted by Particlestorm

Posted by Snail

Not even a facepalm can describe how stupid this is.

Posted by igl

I am German, and I haven't bought a "German-version" since a while. So I don't really care anymore.
At least I get to see nipples everyday! :D

Posted by Vafthrutnir

Well, at least they are getting the game. Unless thats been censored as well.

Posted by AnTiPRO

That's just plain retarded...

Edited by Profi2002

I've got 2 normal german movies with a 18+ rating and the covers have bloody hands and cutted fingers. I think EA / Valve are just dumb (just like HL2 uncut -> Episodes cutted o_O)  ...

Posted by RHCPfan24

I feel bad for the Germans...

Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror

God forbid, Australia might go one step further...

Posted by 0kAmui0

Now that looks just retarded. Why in the bloody hell did they do that? Did they think thath kids would be shocked to see a hand without a thumb or something?

Posted by Shane394

Awesome, a normal hand. That totally makes me want to buy the game

Posted by addictedtopinescent

Not upset, not suprised but. . . .  c'mon . . . . .

Posted by lucas_kelly

That's just fucking stupid.

Posted by Pibo47

Seriously, the people of germany need to stand up and stop this bullshit. Dont let the feds control your life like this.

Posted by WholeFunShow

OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I BEVER GOT THAT WAS A LEFT HAND!!!! WARRRRRGHGHGHG!!!! As for Germany censoring stuff, well that's what they do isn't it?

Posted by Firefly
I live in Germany as well and will not buy games with torn off thumbs!!!!The new cover isn't any better as I can't see the "tip" of the thumb! Could be torn off, could be covering up Adolf with a pineapple shoved up his battuchen or anything else really really really scary for little school girls!

I have the feeling the senior editing staff really have some issues with Germany and especially the Leipzig Games Convention, where eeeeeeverybody smokes and give weird handjobs. Well I'm pleased to inform you that Germany will be hosting a second major event at the same time as the Games Convention next year called the Gamescom, which will be held in Cologne! So there...
Posted by stephengotlost

Read up more about this and you will discover that the "edited" version is just a slip that's over the cover and can be taken out easily. German retailers just didn't want this imagery on their shelves during the Holiday. The original cover will make it to the German release following the Holidays.

Posted by Superchris129

The dudes damn thumb is ripped off. It could scare the wimpy little german kids looking for their finding nemo video game. It's really not that big of a deal.

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