Call of Duty: Vanguard Reportedly Won’t Remove Nazi Imagery

Call of Duty: Vanguard Reportedly Won’t Remove Nazi Imagery
Sledgehammer Games

Written by 

Joseph Kime


13th Aug 2021 09:55

Vanguard has been a long time coming, and looking back, fans have been pretty divided so far. A lot of players (as ever) are looking forward to a new Call of Duty experience to get involved in, while others are growing concerned that the series can’t hold itself up on the back of another game with a World War II setting - especially as the series has seen it all before in World At War and WWII.

It’s a fair worry to have, honestly - it took the series’ divergence to the Cold War in its last mainline title to keep it exciting. But, as the series returns to familiar settings, at least it looks like it's going to be dedicated to historical accuracy - for better or for worse.

Will Call of Duty: Vanguard include Nazi imagery? 

Call of Duty Vanguard Reportedly Won't Censor Nazi Imagery
Click to enlarge
Sledgehammer Games

In a move that might be seen as controversial, reports have suggested that Vanguard won’t make any attempt to censor the swastika, the symbol that has become synonymous with the Nazi party. It’s a bold move, especially after the last game to take to this setting, Call of Duty: WWII from 2017, elected to replace the swastika in respect of "cultural boundaries".

It’s fascinating, then, that notorious leaker Tom Henderson has suggested that the game will do away with the substitutes, and fully use the swastika.

The suggestion has come about from a cryptic tweet, wherein he showed off an iron cross medal.


This is a move that could prove controversial, but one that could equally restrict the game’s distribution.

Could Vanguard Be Censored In Germany?

Call of Duty Vanguard Reportedly Won't Censor Nazi Imagery
Click to enlarge

The biggest concern for many around the inclusion of the swastika is how this means the game will be received in Germany. The country has different rules and regulations as to when and how Nazi iconography is used, and it has impacted similar games in the past.

Most notable is the German release of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which stripped the swastika from flags, and replaced the appearance of an aged Adolf Hitler with fictional dictator Herr Heiler. It was only recently that the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body lifted a blanket ban on the use of Nazi symbolism, though each of its uses still needs approval.

So, unless Call of Duty has had the use approved ahead of time, the swastika could end up seeing censorship in Germany. However, if the series had the agency to see that the symbols were used, chances are they sought out the proper governing boards to clear it.

It’s a bold step for Vanguard to take, especially after video games have faced criticism in the past as a result of swastika use. We won’t know until we get an official look at the game if the report is true, but until then, fingers crossed that the game isn’t overstepping the line.


Check out our Call of Duty: Vanguard guides here:

Call of Duty Vanguard release date


Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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