The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Update: ‘Dead Island’ Riptide Edition Has Incredibly Tasteless UK Version

I really shouldn’t have fallen for the Zombie hula girl figurine so easily.

‘Dead Island’, as recounted recently here on the blog, has a new ‘Riptide’ edition coming out soon, and as is common with special editions of games, it has various nifty (to their minds) gimmicky objects to encourage purchasers.

In the US, you get a Zombie hula girl action figure, a Zombie arm bottle opener, and the like. Nothing enormously offensive, to the Zombie Rights Movement or the general populace.

In Europe, however… ugh.

Dead Island: Riptide is the sequel to Dead Island, the survival horror video game that has players stranded on a tropical island with a zombie outbreak. To promote the game, publishers Deep Silver are offering a special “Zombie Bait Edition” which includes the console game, artwork, a weapons pack, and a statue of a woman’s bikini-clad torso with her head and arms chopped off. And so help me god, they’re comparing it to the Venus de Milo.

This really does have to be seen to be believed:

Image from The Mary Sue, Probably Belongs to Deep Silver, Used for Commentary

There’s a lot of outrage on this around the internet, and it’s well deserved. Other commentators I’ve seen include Anime News Network, who provide us with some insight into how NOT to conduct your PR damage control:

Entirely justified outrage followed, and Deep Silver handled it badly. For starters, the administrator of the company’s Twitter feed casually replied that the statue “might have a cock down there,” as though this would mitigate the gruesome offensiveness of the whole thing. Then Deep Silver issued a public apology, which you can see at The Mary Sue. As many people noticed, at no point does the company announce that they’re canceling the bloody bikini torso thing entirely. Nope.

Yessss…. that makes things slightly creepier, if anything, by implying that it’d be ok to chop up a female body if it had male genitalia? I don’t even want to deal with this sort of madness.

So. Ahem. Deep Silver. We knew they had violent cravings for brutalization of the Undead, and I can’t say I’m surprised that they seem to have issues with gender relations and the Living, not to mention bad taste in advertising.

We here at The Zombie Rights Campaign will largely abstain from piling on, except to note that, if you don’t objectify and dehumanize anyone to start with (say, Zombies), you stand less risk of doing it habitually.

And isn’t that better for everyone, Living and Undead alike?

We think so.

Update: Included below is the apology, from The Mary Sue, that Deep Silver issued, which makes it clear that they were led into this particular barbarism by the gateway drug that is Anti-Zombie prejudice.

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.

You start out hating Zombies and end up hating everyone. What a pity.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


2 Responses to “Update: ‘Dead Island’ Riptide Edition Has Incredibly Tasteless UK Version”

  1. Isn’t the outrage a good sign though? That the public in general are speaking out about anti-zombie violence and zombie objectification? Okay, granted, they’re still going to buy a living supremacist game, but it’s a baby step.

  2. John Sears says:

    It’s sad that the line that has to be crossed is so far out there. As you say, isn’t the game bad enough? We think so, certainly.

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