In a rare move, Painkiller and Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell have been removed from the German government’s List of Media Harmful to Young People early.
The List was created in order to shield German youth from forms of media that were perceived as being a danger to them if consumed. Normally, media stays on the List for 25 years if it is chosen for inclusion. Video Games that are still on the list include Aliens vs. Predator, Resident Evil 4, Smash TV, and Dark Forces. THQ Nordic states that the removal was the result of “Numerous discussions, a team of relentless lawyers, [and] perseverance.” Reversals like with the Painkiller games are more of an exception than the rule.
Media that makes the List are subject to additional restrictions in Germany that can make it difficult for citizens to acquire the media. For example, the product can’t be advertised somewhere minors could be present, can’t be sold in stores where a minor may be present, and in the instance of gaming, cannot be streamed. THQ Nordic plans to pursue more reversals for titles in their catalog.