There was a time when it was illegal to sell Fallout 3 in Germany. That time was about a few hours ago.
The nation has historically had stricter laws on the portrayal of violence in the media, at least they have since that time their country was about nothing but violence. Out of fear they might once again raise another Hitler, they’ve enacted strict regulations regarding content in movies, TV and especially video games.
A government-funded organization called Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Minors originally banned Fallout 3. This was after Bethesda submitted a sanitized version where much of the violence in the game was toned down. So no, Germany’s not all sunshine and chocolate. There’s free health care, but there’s also bland games.
Fortunately, this board reversed its decision yesterday after an appeal was filed by Bethesda. But it wasn’t easy, involving “detailed application letters, costs of up to several thousand Euros, and scrutiny from a ‘Big Council’ of 12 delegates made of German community organizations, State Assessors, and Department of Media Harmful to Minors Group Members.” Your tax dollars at work, Fraulein.
Fallout 4 was released in Germany around the same time everybody else got it, with no cuts and no incidents.