For those not in the know, Germany originally banned Bethesda‘s Fallout 3 in 2009 due to its overly violent content, and eventually ended up offering gaming fans in the country a censored version of the open world title. Now, however, as IGN Germany has reported, with just three years left before the end of the statutory ten-year sentence for its banning, it seems as if the development studio “initiated a difficult and rarely-successful trial” with the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors (BPjM) in order to get Fallout 3 delisted.
Bethesda has said in a statement that it will disclose the reason behind why it put so much effort into getting Fallout 3 unbanned in Germany “in a couple of weeks,” which suggests that the studio may have plans of putting out some sort of re-released version of the game for current generation consoles. Regarding the decision behind the BPjM’s removal of the shooter RPG from its list of banned games, though, a member of the group explained:
“In the case of Fallout 3, the request for delisting was granted even though only seven years passed since the game was banned. The Big Council decided at its meeting on 4 February that Fallout 3 will be removed from the list because its content is no longer classified as harmful to minors from today’s perspective.”
While the BPjM’s statement is rather anti-climactic, it wasn’t as if publisher and developer Bethesda didn’t put up an arduous campaign to get Fallout 3 unbanned in the country. It took the studio a seven-year-long process that required detailed application letters to be filled out, along with fees of up to several thousand Euros just to have its case heard by the 12 delegates of the “Big Council” from different German community organizations, State Assessors ,and BPjM Group Members.
When the fourth installment in the post-apocalyptic series launched in November of last year, Fallout 4 released uncut Germany, which was a strange occurrence considering the censorship on its precursor. However, the BPjM obviously saw the contradiction it was perpetrating, hence the subsequent unbanning of Fallout 3. Hopefully, India’s and Australia’s video game bans will no longer include Fallout 3 on its lists of forbidden releases now that Germany has changed its stance on the title’s content.
Circling back to the most exciting bit of news, as many gaming fans are aware, Fallout 3 is already backward compatible on Xbox One, but with Bethesda working so hard to get a nearly eight-year-old game off Germany’s ban list, the prospect of a full-fledged remaster or remake with high-definition graphics looks to be like a safe bet. After all, Bethesda published Dishonored: Definitive Edition, an excellent update to the already stellar stealth-action title developed by Arkane Studios, so why wouldn’t the studio give one of its most popular titles the same treatment?
Fallout 3 is currently available for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.