Seventeen years after id Software released the original Doom, the game and its sequel Doom II can now be officially sold to a wider audience in Germany. The BBC reports that the country's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons has lifted the previous sales ban of both games. While Doom and Doom II could previously be sold in adult only stores in Germany, starting today the new decision allows both games to legally be sold to people aged 16 years old and older.
The change of heart was due in part to an earlier appeal made by Bethesda Softworks, who acquired the rights to the games when it bought id Software in 2009. The company argued to the board that the graphical look of both games, which were cutting edge back in 1994, now look primitive compared to the graphics in games released in 2011. As a result the visuals for both Doom games, which features lots of 2D blood and demons, would not have as much of an impact when played today.
In the end the board decided to lift the ban because it felt both titles are now less likely to be played by children. The board also determined that the games were now "mainly of historical interest" to gamers. However, Germany will continue to keep the US version of Doom II under its sales ban. The reason is that the game has some Easter Egg levels that look like id Software's debut FPS Wolfenstein 3D. Those levels show the Nazi swastika symbol. Germany bans depictions of games that have any Nazi symbols.