The new game in the Wolfenstein series has sparked outrage amongst fans with their depiction of The Beatles performing under Hitler’s regime. Changing their name to “Die Käfer,” the group works for Adolf Hitler and changes the titles and lyrics of many of their more famous works to fit their new employ. Many people have found this depiction of The Beatles incredibly offensive and have lambasted the entire game as a result.
Wolfenstein: The New Order portrays an alternate version of the 1960s in which the Nazis have won the Second World War, and details some things that might have happened differently in such an event. In this version of history, the Fab Four still have their pop career but receive an ultimatum. Either The Beatles can change their name and begin singing German versions of their songs (such as “Das Blaue U-Boot” instead of “Yellow Submarine”), or they can spend time in a concentration camp. They find it easy to forsake their native land and take the easy way out.
Not only is their music different, but their album covers have apparently changed as well. Prominently displayed in marketing products for the game is a variant version of the album cover for their album Abbey Road. In this version, The Beatles are walking in the exact same formation but are wearing Nazi uniforms. Some people are not just angry about this depiction of the band, but are upset that any game would utilize Nazi themes in its story-telling, the Mirror reports.
The publisher of the game, Bethesda Softworks, has leapt to the game’s defense. They do not feel that a game in which the main character fights Nazis is in any way glorifying Nazi principles. As far as The Beatles are concerned, they say that the point was simply to make their alternate history seem as legitimate as possible. They believe that the addition of familiar music which has been altered by the Nazis makes the world of the game feel more realistic.
Controversy over the appearance of The Beatles in Wolfenstein: The New Order has even spread to politicians, most of which are opposed to the game. The band has always been considered iconic in pop culture, and has risen to become something of a British symbol. Many feel that, even if the developers’ intentions were simply to make the game feel more legitimate, the decision to have The Beatles sing for the Nazis was a step too far.