Since the release of v3.1 of "Blade of Agony" we have received numerous messages, comments and emails. Besides positive messages and words of support, we have also received a lot of opposition and disappointment.
"You have given up", "You have given in to the shitstorm", "You have lost my respect".
After more than 6 years of working on a project of the heart, these words of course hurt and disappoint us very much and after we had answered some of the comments on ModDB and by email, we now feel that an official statement is necessary to gain understanding and shed light on the matter.
The changes and mitigations we have implemented for version 3.1 do not stem from cowardice we have shown towards some users of the Doom community. Blade of Agony is a creative, free and artistic interpretation within the Wolfenstein universe. And as long as we are unpaid developers working on such a project in our spare time, it must be ensured that we realise our vision as we see fit. This is exactly the motto we have been working by for the last 6 years, releasing the last 3 chapters. So why the adjustments to v3.0 now?
As some of you know, the team around "Blade of Agony" consists of a colourful bunch from all over the world, including Israel and Germany. Wolfenstein 3D and swastikas have long been banned and punished in Germany in the field of entertainment. Since 2018, these laws have been toned down, but games of this kind are still under the strictest observation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (FOftPotC).
Although we as developers strictly condemn any form of discrimination, racial hostility, anti-Semitism and glorification of the Second World War, there were concerns on the part of various German gaming sites and news sources about whether we had not crossed a line with some content (including the depiction of a concentration camp, the explicit mention of affected population groups or the World Exhibition in Paris with historical anti-Semitic content). From that point on, it was clear to us that we would have to reconsider the content in order to weigh up possible personal damage (for example a punishment from the FOftPotC if they deem the game unacceptable) from all the developers of the project concerned.
The Second World War was the most horrific conflict in our history, and we as a development team do not want to ignore, censor or even deny these atrocities. However, we have asked ourselves what position we are in as entertainers. Wolfenstein is and always has been a fictional scenario, so we have no duty to educate the people who play our game. We want to tell an exciting story. So our yardstick in toning down the game was "What content is necessary to achieve that and what content can we do without?"
Blade of Agony has been released in several versions before and as we changed, removed and added content from version 1.0 to 2.0 based on experience gained and advice received, this is an organic process that has now also taken place between 3.0 and 3.1.
While we can understand some of the disappointment, we hope players will understand why some changes had to be made and why we can no longer officially support v3.0, and ask that you do not share public links on our ModDB page. Of course, we have no influence on what happens in the private area.
We hope that you continue to have as much fun with Blade of Agony as we had during its development and we still wish you a good time.
and the entire Blade of Agony development team