Vlambeer studio co-founder Rami Ismail issued a statement today to address concerns that its hit 2D fighting game Luftrausers "implies" that players are controlling Nazi pilots and aircraft during World War II. The concerns likely stem from the name, which is similar to the "Luftwaffe," the air force of the German Wehrmacht during World War II; and the uniforms worn by commanders in the game that look similar to uniforms worn by German officers during the war.
"Earlier this week, several people on Twitter voiced their discomfort with what they perceived as Nazi imagery in LUFTRAUSERS, and the belief that you play as a Nazi pilot in our 2D dogfighting game," wrote Ismail in a blog post.
"We do have to accept that our game could make some people uncomfortable. We’re extremely sad about that, and we sincerely apologise for that discomfort."
"The fact is that no interpretation of a game is ‘wrong’. When you create something, you leave certain implications of what you’re making. We can leave our idea of what it is in there, and for us, the game is about superweapons. We think everybody who plays LUFTRAUSERS can feel that."
"But even more so in an interactive medium, we do have to accept that no way of reading those implications is ‘false’ – that if someone reads between the lines where we weren’t writing, those voids can be filled by the player, or someone else. If we accept there’s no wrong interpretation of a work, we also have to accept that some of those interpretations could not be along the lines of what we’re trying to create."
The company closed its rather lengthy statement on the matter by saying that it was sorry to anyone that might have been unintentionally offended by its game.
"Having been born and raised in the Netherlands, we are extremely aware of the awful things that happened, and we want to apologise to anybody who, through our game, is reminded of the cruelties that occurred during the war."
You can read the entire blog post here.