A few days ago Deep Silver announced the Rigor Mortis edition for Dead Island Riptide and it stirred up an excited buzz for the collectible goodies it contained, as voted for by the gaming public. Now the ‘Zombie Bait’ Edition, exclusive to the UK (and PAL regions) has been revealed and it’s getting even more attention… but not for the right reasons.
Dead Island Riptide, the next installment in the tropical zombie-fest, continues to follow the survivors of Banoi as they escape to a military ship; alas a furious storm hits and it’s not long before chaos spreads and the waves start to overwhelm them. Similarly before Riptide has even been released, chaos has surrounded the title as the Zombie Bait Edition is being shipped with the bloodied torso of a bikini-clad woman. Male and female fans alike have cried out against the statue as an inexcusable example of sexism and a surefire way to make any fan displaying it look like a serial killer.
The Zombie Bait Edition features the Game, Steelbook case, Weapon pack DLC and Collectors artwork. However the key feature of the Zombie Bait Edition is a 31 x 18.5cm resin statue of a female zombie victim, which is in effect just a bloody lump with perfectly in-tact breasts. Although PR describes it as a tribute to “iconic Roman marble torso sculpture”, it instead appears to be a means of pandering to that unpleasant gamer stereotype of teenage boys obsessed with sex and sexy ladies (which is not to say that, that is what all teenage males are like). Having reduced the inclusion of a ‘sexy lady’ literally to a pair of breast, Deep Silver have once again gotten themselves into hot water for sexism.
When the first Dead Island game sailed to our shores, a member of the Steam forums came across hidden code referencing a skill for Purna called the “Feminist Whore”; presumed to be the old name of the “Gender Wars” ability which gave her extra damage against men. The community complained and the developers apologised, but it appears they have yet to learn their lesson. With this latest marketing disaster raging across the internet, Deep Silver have once again been quick to respond with an apology on twitter.
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.
Noticeably absent from the apology is any information on whether this edition will be pulled and replaced with something else. The Zombie Bait Edition is priced at £99.99 and said to be available in the UK from April 26, 2013 on the Xbox 360. Dead Island Riptide is set for launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC from April 23rd.
What do the keen-eyed collectors of Esperino think of the bloodied bust? Has it put you off purchasing the series, or do you agree with Deep Silver that it will ““make a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer’s mantel.”?
We’ll keep an eye out for more details as they emerge.
[UPDATE]: Gameonly.at have exclusive distribution throughout Austria, Switzerland and Germany, but will also deliver across Europe. According to the online retailer, the Zombie Bait edition is limited to 8,000 units and available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. The bikini-clad torso is hand-painted, weighs in at 2.5kg and stands 33cm tall. Interesting to note, the Union Jack from the original promotional shot has been replaced with stars and stripes for a more American flavour.
Amazon UK are also taking pre-orders for Dead Island Riptide Zombie Bait Edition on Xbox 360, priced at £70.64 if you live outside Europe and looking to purchase one.