That headless, armless, and bloodied female torso that’s a pre-order bonus for Dead Island Riptide caused quite the internet sh*t storm yesterday. But seriously, who didn’t see that one coming a mile away?
So here’s a shocker: pretty much everyone had a field day, with the Dead Island Riptide Zombie Bait Edition announcement. It was called everything from tasteless to disturbing to sexist.
Eventually, the game’s publisher had to issue the following apology:
A statement on the Zombie Bait Edition:
We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide “Zombie Bait Edition”, the collector’s edition announced for Europe and Australia. Like many gaming companies, Deep Silver has many offices in different countries, which is why sometimes different versions of Collector’s Editions come into being for North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island.
We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver’s entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.
It’s worth noting that they have yet to comment as to whether the offending collectible will be pulled or not. My best is that it’s still going to be made available.
Many… again, not surprisingly… have also taken issue with the apology, because they feel that it’s a total cop-out. And I’m inclined to agree. Also, as other have also pointed out, Deep Silver stating that it’s a zombie’s torso makes zero sense; it’s clearly that of a normal woman. After all, isn’t the name of the deluxe package called “Zombie Bait” to being with?
But also guess what? Mission accomplished: clearly the figure was designed to spark controversy, to get everyone talking about Deep Silver’s crappy game (or at least I’m assuming it will be; was not a fan of the first Dead Island), and that much has been done, ten-fold.
I guess what annoys me the most is how people are so blindly walking into the trap. Sure I’m partly to blame, for writing about it in the first place, but it’s become a flat-out obsession among some game journalists. What makes it worse is how this is the second time that Deep Silver’s super transparent, attention grabbing ploys have worked in their favor.
The first example being that commercial for the first game (you know, with the sappy piano music). I swear to God, when I read YouTube comments about how it brought a tear to their eyes, I legitimately get upset over how stupid people are.
Back to the subject at hand: it’s the supposed fetishisation of violence against women as it pertains to the torso that has most people upset. And perhaps I can’t (or shouldn’t) comment since I’m not a woman, but I will say the following two things:
1. As gross and offensive as the statue might be, I have a number of friends who are way into zombies and horror movies in general, who also collect stupid collectables and the like. So trust me when I say this that the thing above is EXTREMELY tame when compared to some of the other stuff I’ve seen.
Granted, I speak of stuff acquired at horror conventions, and are home made creations, which is not nearly as accessible as your local game store, and which might be the key difference here.
2. A friend of mine who saw my write-up yesterday now wants to get ahold of the statue, because said person is completely obsessed with the undead (and was also totally unaware of the video game’s existence and is now looking forward to giving it a spin). This individual’s gender by the way? Female. Point being, different strokes, etc.