Call of Duty: Players Will Fight as Germans, Not Nazis in New WWII Game, Creators Say

Amid concerns 'Call of Duty: WWII' will entice neo-Nazis, creators say 'many veterans make the distinction that they were Germans, but not Nazis'

Attendees watch a preview for Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Call of Duty WWII video game for the Sony Corp. PlayStation during a Sony event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, June 12, 2017. Sony announced five new titles including Skyrim for its PlayStation VR headset at E3 event in Los Angeles. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Attendees watch a preview for Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Call of Duty WWII video game for the Sony Corp. PlayStation during a Sony event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, C Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The developers of "Call of Duty: WWII" have denied that the war-themed video game would allow gamers to play Nazis. But the game, which pits Axis powers against Allied forces during World War II, has raised concerns that it would attract neo-Nazis. 

Michael Condrey, the studio co-head at Sledgehammer Games admitted that in the online multiplayer version of  "Call of Duty: WWII," someone has to play the Germans. But he made a distinction between German forces in World War II that may surprise some.          

“You'll never play as a Nazi," Condrey told Game Informer, as reported on the Player.One website. "You will play as a German or other members of the Allied or Axis forces... There's an ensemble cast on the Axis side, but yes you will spend half your matches being the Axis side," Condrey said.

"A lot of the Nazi soldiers weren't on the frontlines of the battle anyway. When you think about what really happened in the war, the SS and the Nazi forces were doing other things than sitting out there defending Normandy Beach. In fact, Normandy Beach was largely not even made up of Germans. It was made up of conscripted soldiers from other places that the Axis forces had captured."

Sledgehammer Answers Call Of Duty: WWII's Lingering Questions

The co-head of Sledgehammer, Glen Schofield, backed up Condrey, Player.One reported, saying that "many veterans make the distinction that they were Germans, but not Nazis. As a result, the studio felt it was important to make that distinction in Call Of Duty: WW2’s multiplayer suite," the version in which players compete against one another.

Nevertheless, the Games Radar website raised the prospect that the game "could attract the worst possible people for all the wrong reasons," in apparent reference to the attraction that the game may have for neo-Nazis.