News this morning that the United Kingdom and Australia would be receiving a special edition of Dead Island Riptide that comes packed with a statue of a mutilated bikini-clad corpse was met with shock and repulsion.
The Dead Island Zombie Bait Edition includes a 31 cm high, hand painted resin statue of island's zombies a "grotesque take on an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture," according to the press release from publisher Deep Silver.
"We wanted to provide a unique collector's edition that was utterly Dead Island and would make a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer's mantel," according to the prepared statement from Deep Silver sales and marketing director Paul Nicholls.
Reaction to the gruesome bust within the press has been overwhelmingly negative.
Destructoid's Jim Sterling describes the bust as something you wouldn't want to display in mixed company:
"Jesus Christ, what kind of sociopath would actually want this 12" resin nightmare? Even putting aside the weird message a sexualized corpse torso sends, it's just ... ugly. There are few items I wouldn't decorate my office with, but this ... thing ... sure would be one of 'em."
Joystiq's JC Fletcher writes: "It's too gross even to qualify for the A Christmas Story joke that usually applies to body-part statues."
MCV's Ben Parfitt writes: "With the industry's attitude and representation of gender very much one of the hot issues of 2012, the reaction to the announcement is understandably likely to anger the more proactive parts of the games community."
The Twitter response has also been mostly negative:
I don't care if it's only available in the UK. That 'Dead Island' decapitated woman statue is despicable.— Lou Kesten (@lkesten) January 15, 2013
People, how did we get here? Really? Really. How is a woman's mangled body, a literal trophy on your desk, even remotely defensible— Tweets About Torsos (@jennatar) January 15, 2013
Polygon commenters were also unhappy with the special edition:
"I am not seeing the connection between a zombie game called Dead Island: Riptide and a pair of Union flag covered breasts on a de-limbed torso," wrote Polygon comment moderator Shaun McIlroy. "Someone help me here."
"This doesn't offend me it just bums me out, man," wrote commenter GrampaJr.
Commenter Ikaruwa simply replied with a reference to the movement that asked why there weren't more female game developers, "#1reasonwhy."
Reached for comment this morning, Deep Silver UK said they were looking into our questions and would be responding. While they still haven't responded to our direct questions, including whether the collector's edition will still be offered, they did take to Twitter to apologize this afternoon.
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.
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