Legendary first-person shooter Doom has been officially released from a 17 year long ban in Germany and given a USK 16+ rating. Since 1994, Doom has been on an index of games deemed to be harmful to young people by a German federal department called the BPjM. The Doom sequel was also absolved, though the American version is still banned due to Nazi symbols on certain levels.
For nearly a decade Doom was put in a category similar to pornography and sold in adult stores. “Indexed” by the Bundespruftstelle, the game was only available legally for those who were 18 and up and couldn’t be sold by mail, online or in your general retailer where a child could accidentaly see it.
Developed by id, the game was later acquired by Fallout publisher Bethesda who told Joystiq, “We are obviously very pleased with their decision. Can’t give you the details yet on when they will be available in German. We’ll let everyone know as soon as we know.”
Apparently, indexed games are allowed appeal after 10 years–which is what Bethesda did. The Doom restrictions expired yesterday, and the game publisher coaxed the Bundespruftstelle to change the games’ rating. Bethesda argued that the games’ crappy, obsolete graphics didn’t give the game the same impact it may have had before.
Doom shared the USK 18 spot with games such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Halo 3, COD: Black Ops, House of the Dead and more. There were still those on the Bundesprufstelle panel that objected to the ruling, but the logic behind the USK 16+ rating was that the Doom was probably not going to be played like children who would most likely be seduced by the more challenging games out there.