Dead Island has been banned in Germany, and while that's not a surprise to gamers around the world, what is surprising is developer Techland's response to it. Speaking to GameIndustry.biz Germany, a Techland spokesperson said that they expected this to happen.
"This isn't unexpected," said a Techland spokesperson. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. "Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning."
Anyone that reads a web site that follows video gaming knows that Germany has strict rules on game content. Germany's Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons (or the BPJM) classified Dead Island as "List B" – a designation usually given to content that contains depictions of "extreme torture" or "Nazi content."
"List B" classified games cannot be sold anywhere in Germany, and anyone caught doing so can face legal action. It effectively keeps distributors and importers in the region from selling the game there. Importing retailers such as Play.com, Amazon.de and Gameware.at, run the risk of cargo being seized at German customs if they attempt to bring the game into the country. The BPJM also didn't explain why Dead Island was banned in the country, but the classification division has a history of doing that.
Publisher Koch Media (who owns Deep Silver) avoided German law by distributing the game in Austria.
"We did not distribute or sell Dead Island in Germany," said a Koch Media spokesperson. "The intention was to bring the game to the international markets, as the product seems to be better suitable for audiences abroad."