"grotesque take on an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture," which features breasts and a bikini, as a promotional item.
As part of the Dead Island: Riptide 'Zombie Bait Edition', a 31cm by 18.5cm statuette of grisly remains is/was included in the box. The publisher now says it "sincerely regrets" the decision.
These hand-painted - yes, hand-painted - sculptures were the "grisly remains of one of Palanai island's zombie infected." It depicted a torso missing arms and a head.
Oh, and breasts - don't forget the breasts. The completely insane process behind this was because Deep Silver "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," explained marketing director Paul Nicholls.
A tsunami of tweeted outrage hit Deep Silver and now they're backpedalling fast.
"We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide "Zombie Bait Edition", the collector's edition announced for Europe and Australia," said a published statement. "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 hard to imagine many people, let alone a company, think that a severed torso of a bikini clad tourist would make a good desk ornament. Still, has this been a devious ploy simply to whip up publicity for Dead Island: Riptide? Would there have been as much outrage, or any at all, if the statuette was of a male (sans bikini, probably)?
Dead Island: Riptide releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC April 23rd in the US, 26th in EU.
Deep Silver pledge 'never again' over Dead Island's "grotesque" statuette
16 January 2013 | By Simon Priest
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- Dead Island: Riptide