Deep Silver Sorry About Trying To Sell Game With Severed Torso Statue

Deep Silver Sorry About Trying To Sell Game With Severed Torso Statue
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Following today’s firestorm of negative reactions, game publisher Deep Silver has apologised for the ridiculously tasteless zombie torso statue that they planned to include in one of the collector’s editions for Dead Island Riptide.

Deep Silver posted the apology on Twitter:

A statement on the Zombie Bait Edition:

We deeply apologise for any offence 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 not clear whether Deep Silver will still sell the statue. I’ve reached out to ask and will update should I hear back.


  • What the hell, seriously the only people who object to this shit are people that walk by an EB games and see it they don’t know what it’s for why it’s there they just think “oh wow now they’re selling body parts”

        • Thank you srg, for being a human being with intelligence. Its like in america when someone says something that some group doesn’t like on TV, suddenly that guy gets fired or the show gets cancelled . Its bullshit. People have the right to consume whatever they want, but they shouldn’t have the right to stop other people from doing so.

          • My pleasure. I grew up in the US and Australia both, and both countries are so weighed down by political correctness and nanny-state crap that it just about drives me insane.

          • For the sake of discussion, would your logic of “if you don’t want it, don’t buy it” dictate that if you don’t like being a part of US/AUS society, you should remove yourself from it?

          • Not necessarily. Moving to another country is a substantial undertaking that can require a lot more than people expect.

            But in theory, yes. In practice, everything else is worse.

  • I blame the people who complain about this for the state of the world, now i have to go out and murder someone to get my torso statue, and its all your fault, hope your happy.

    in all honesty tho, how is this anywhere near as bad as “someone who sells paintings, painted with menstrual blood?”

  • Tasteless, why? I have a bust of a chest-burster from Alien, i’ve got Ash’s chainsaw from Evil Dead and a dude with an exploded head from Scanners and i’m tasteless now? I like gory horror memorabilia and i’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with an adult collecting things like that. I’m not putting Dead Island in the same vein as Alien but seriously, this is ridiculous. I don’t need a lesson in morality from Kotaku.

    • I think you are, I wouldn’t put those things in my house.

      At the same time it’s your house and you have every right to tell me to go fuck myself. Unless you kindnap me and make my stay in your tasteless house i’ve got no right to complain.

      Still, as a company Deep Silver are fucking stupid to promote their materials with something which at best you could call divisive. I have no problem with ridiculous over the top violence but that really is a bit much for the majority of people.

      Still, I know that Dead Island: Riptide exists now….. whatever works huh?

      P.S. Alien and Evil Dead are great films.

    • the difference is, is that all those other statues you mentioned have context – they’re all very iconic to the brand they’re from. This is just a hacked up torso with a bikini. Is it one of those characters from the game? Or one of the weapons that you can use? Or is it an important item from the game? No, it’s just a regular torso that could’ve been from anything. That’s what is offensive about it – it has no context.

      • Just to play devil’s advocate, Dead Island was set on an island resort so the majority (if not all, it’s been a while) of the female undead were in bikinis. The game was melee based, so more often than not said zombies end up with their limbs chopped off.

        So iconic? Perhaps not. But definitely prevalent.

  • I wish for once, these guys would have some balls and just stick to their decisions and release the collectors edition like originally intended. Pro tip – The people who were offended by this weren’t going to buy it anyway. I’d have way more respect for these guys if they just stuck to their guns and said “You know what? This is what we wanted to do, we think it’s a cool idea, so fuck you we’re going to do it”

  • I might be in a minority here in this thread, but even though I don’t mind me some good zombie gore, I find this particular offering deeply tacky and unncessarily sexualised.

    Well done, Deep Silver, for buying into what society thinks about games and gamers and perpetuating the stereotype.

    Edit: Does anyone remember the beautiful and moving pre-launch trailer for Dead Island? They’ve fallen a long way since then.

    • I hear you Shane, we seem to be in the minority. I really don’t understand the need for such graphic imagery. What if they put a picture of a babies severed head with a spear through it, or a 4 year old girl cut in 1/2 by a chainsaw … would that be ok? How far do we have to go with this before it’s unacceptable. I know a few people who love gore beyond all measure – i’ll agree to disagree until the day I die.
      The worship of gore? Not for me. The worship of sex WITHOUT the gore – now that’s more my style!!

      • So you ok with censorship then? You think this statue should be banned because thats where you draw the line, a lot of other people draw the line at horror and violent games full stop, should we capitulate to them too? Who is right? You or them, and why do you think your right? Sell it, if people buy it, its wanted, if not, the company wont sell things like it again. Free market and let adults decide what they want to buy. Would I buy it? No, but personally I am sick of censorship.

        • This isn’t censorship. No one is stopping them producing this. People are just loudly stating that it’s disgusting. They are free to choose to ignore the backlash. The free market spoke very loudly about this and affected change.

    • It is tacky and sexualized. However, nobody would care if it was a males torso (and less people would be inclned to buy it, strangely enough). Stereotypes exist and it makes good business sense to exploit them.

      that trailer had very little to do with the game itself, as it was made long before in-game shots of the game were actually released. I also don’t remember any child zombies in the game.

    • Sorry Shane, but do YOU remember the beautiful and moving pre-launch trailer for Dead Island? Exactly how accurate was that to the main game?

  • I think people find it offensive because this limbless torso is still being sexualised. If this was a man’s limbless torso, there would probably not be such an uproar, because men’s torso’s are less sexualised in general. This trophy was obviously made to appear as something a horny guy who is also a fan of the game wouldn’t mind having on his shelf. He probably wouldn’t see the problem with it. He wouldn’t realise that a great pair of boobs on a female body that’s been cut up sexualises something that is violent, and that violence is being perpetrated on a female. And now this cut up female is a trophy on a gamers shelf. Do you seriously not see how that is offensive? It’s connecting the violence in the game with sex in the most obvious and idiotic way, by showing the violence in the game acted upon a well-endowed woman. Not only that, but the reason the trophy is still perceived by some as attractive is because it’s a pair of boobs. “Never mind the rest of the body, who CARES about the rest of the body? All I want to look at on a woman is some boobs! Cut off the head and arms for all I care, as long as the boobs are intact!”

    • you make a very valid point. if it was a guys torso it probably wouldn’t have been as much of an issue. being a game where the player kills zombies it should be a zombie torso, not a human. just a torso is pretty lame in my opinion. I’d rather a whole zombie.

  • They aren’t sexualising a corpse.

    They’re taking a bikini clad woman – a symbol of leisure, relaxation and an idyllic resort lifestyle – and transforming it into something horrific.
    It mirrors the setting of the game. You have a resort – a symbol of leisure, relaxation and an idyllic lifestyle – transformed into something horrific.

    The idea that people saw this as a sexualisation of something horrific is somewhat baffling to me.
    It’s supposed to be ugly and unsettling.

    • If I saw that torso on a real, living chick my first thought wouldn’t be: “Oh thats a a symbol of leisure, relaxation and an idyllic resort lifestyle”.

      My brain saw a nice rack. Assuming the largest market for this game is straight, white, male and <30 thats going to be an element of interpretation for 99% of that market.

      It could have been an old torso, a sun worn torso with a pair of saggers. It could have been a pair of boardshorts with bloodstains and a bite tear out of them….. there’s plenty of options they could have gone with. The tight young torso with the fake looking rack was clearly the most sexualised thing they could think of.

      • I didn’t even see a nice rack. I saw it and thought “I think that person has/had implants”
        But a sun worn torso with a pair of “saggers” is not idyllic. Although you’re right that it’s a resort stereotype.
        Dude in boardies may have been just as good a symbol…

        I dunno, the way I see it is that the subject, in its original state was sexual, but it has been altered to the point that it isn’t. Not the reverse (ie. it wasn’t a mess of blood and bone and they added skin and curves and a bikini until it was sexy)

    • If someone is killed in a leisure resort and then you show their dead body as a statue, that’s not really a symbol of someone who was killed in a leisure resort. It’s just the actual body that was killed in the leisure resort. There’s no real depth to it.

      • I didn’t say it’s a symbol of what it actually is.

        It’s a symbol of an ideal transformed into something contradictory (as with the game’s setting)

    • I understand your point, but not sure I completely agree with you. I think they are sexualising a corpse, but you’re right – that’s not all they’re doing. Certainly, the resort symbol is the contextual relevance of the statue, but there are far less … I dunno, for want of better words, controversial/exploitative ways to do this.

      A cocktail glass with entrail garnish, for example. Or a statue of a zombie wearing a Hawaiian shirt. These would be truly interesting statues to have on your shelf, and much more clearly aligned with the resort-turns-hellish motif.

      But they specifically chose to produce a bust (pun intended) of a big-breasted woman and left her ‘good bits’ unmutilated. All deliberate decisions that can’t be ignored.

      • You do realise the problem with getting upset about a zombie themed media being controversial/exploitative don’t you?

        • Honestly, I think zombies have lost their way. They used to be all about metaphors and satire and extreme situations that cast light upon the human condition, all dressed up in a beautiful layer of gory violence. Now most zombie media seems to be just the dressing, apparently with a healthy dose of sex to round it off.

          Edit: I’m just making an argument here. I’m not especially upset, but I don’t see an issue with getting upset.

      • Fair enough.
        Perhaps there were better choices. A pina colada in a coconut, which appears completely innocent from one angle but is spattered with blood at the back and contains eyeball/teeth/blood, would work well.

        I just didn’t see anything as “sexualised”, I saw something that was once sexual made otherwise.
        It’s not sexy, or exploitative of any particular gender/whatever to me. It’s just representative of the games underlying theme.
        Perhaps I’m not horny enough.

        I get where you’re coming from.
        My opinion is based on my initial reaction.

  • I personally think it’s gross and disgusting. So I plan on doing this magical thing called not buying it and moving on with my life.

    Seriously, how can people be offenended over something that NO ONE IS FORCING THEM TO BUY!?

    Every day I avoid buying countless products that I don’t want, it’s pretty easy to do.

    That’s like complaining about a violent movie you don’t have to go and see or a strip club you never have to attend. Nothing but a bunch of over sensitive fucking wet blankets trying to ruin people’s fun. They need to grow up.

      • But people don’t get addicted to severed torso statues and have to buy them from a dealer and wind up addicted and forced to prostistute themselves to pay for their addiction. My point is severed torso statues don’t harm anyone. Unless they are dropped on you from a great height.

  • Not the best way to get aHEAD in the industry!
    Although, it could be ARMLESS doing so…
    Oh well, i guess we’ll have to stay aBREAST of the situation.
    I mean, we’d hate to look like TITS.
    BLOODY hell…
    That’s it from me – i’m STUMPED!

  • Do want. Over-censorship sucks. If you don’t like it don’t buy it. If you’re offended you’re probably taking yourself too seriously.

    • Actually, what I’m worried about is taking one of my kids to EB and seeing it there on the table. Really don’t want to have to explain to a small girl why some people think hacked up women look cool enough to display.

      • From what I can understand I highly doubt this sort of Collectors Item would be out on show in any EB store Shane, this game will no doubt be given an R18+ rating so to my understanding EB isn’t allowed to show these sort of games out in the open.

        Even if my understanding of how the R18+ rating is going to be implemented is incorrect, the EB games where I am as a general rule don’t put the big major collector’s items out for show, they’re usually out in the back. So I highly doubt you’d have to explain this to a young child because I doubt they’d be displaying it anyway

          • From what I’ve seen from this conversation I think a lot of people here are misunderstanding your argument, from what I can understand you aren’t implicitly stating that because you are a parent, you don’t want this item to exist. Obviously there are such people out there are this is where most of the apprehension against you is stemming from, sadly there are people out there who believe that because they have a young child that means they have all right to deprive consenting adults in engaging in a legal pastime.

            Your argument is agreeable, I do not believe this collectors item should not exist, but at the same time I certainly do not believe this collectors item should be out on show in the public space. People here seem to forget that EB Games is not a private residence but a retailer in public space, and as such all members of the public will and should have access to it. With that in mind they have to ensure that their space is appropriate for all people who will enter it (for the lack of a better word) If that means a collectors item featuring a severed torso has to be kept behind closed doors, than that’s what has to be.

  • I don’t mind having a statue of their charger or one of their zombie bosses, but zombie bait? Lol. Something cool and not dumb please.

  • What a bunch of absolute babies. No conviction, no integrity, no balls! Need I say the obvious? Its a game about zombies, the statue isn’t tasteless – as usual Kotaku and a bunch of moral high rounding twits can’t help themselves can they? In this world, you DO NOT have the right to not be offended.

    Get over it. For crying out loud Kotaku, stop jumping on the bandwagon just this ONCE. Nobody gives a crap about your opinion, just post objective news and be quiet. As for this crowd of over sensitive knobs, don’t look at the friggin think if it bothers you that much DUH!

  • Anyone offended by this I find to be, quite honestly, pathetic. I find some of those twitter comments to be especially hypocritical. “People, how did we get here?” or how about “I used to be a Dead Island fan, but…” – oh yeah because Dead Island didn’t have bikini clad female zombies that you dismembered, did it?

    Except, oh wait!

    Wait wait wait wait. Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes it did! Remember, because THE WHOLE ****ING GAME WAS SET ON A GOD DAMN BEACH RESORT FULL OF BIKINI CLAD WOMEN. This bust is a part of Dead Island and if you don’t like it then I’ll let you in on a little secret:

    You don’t have to get it.

    Or display it.

    Or keep it.

    But keep that one to yourselves. *winks*

    And I wonder how many of these sad sacks are the same people saying “Gee, remember when games used to come with things?”

    • You just seem like you’re butthurt mate. The end result is that you are the one that’s actually pathetic. Look at yourself, raging hard because you can’t buy a plastic replica of a woman’s severed torso.

  • To people defending this statue, just stop. I won’t infring on your right to enjoy a decapitated corpse, but you’re all missing the larger picture here, the inherent sexism behind this. They could easily have gone with a decapitated zombie’s head or arm, things that would have kept with the theme of Dead Island and could be enjoyed by gamers of both genders, but they didn’t, they decided to go with boobs, and that speaks volumes about a larger problem in gaming.

    • No, it doesn’t. Sure, they could’ve easily gone with a head or an arm or any other part of the body, but how would any of that tie in to Dead Island? Also, a bikini is hardly sexualised, if it was a cute bra and lace panties on a zombie torso, the people may have a reason to be offended but it’s not. It’s the same thing you can see at any beach in the world on any given day of the year with a splash of zombie detail.

    • Ironically you’re being sexist. Implying that a women doesn’t enjoy looking at a set of breasts is sexist. Who are you to speak for the female gender?

    • Right because in the overly-political correct world that some aspire to live in anything that displays a woman is in herently sexist.

    • Dire Wolf you are suggesting that because they are advertising towards their target audience there is a problem in gaming. Some females will enjoy this game no doubt, however most guys would enjoy it. A company should be able to advertise their product towards their target audience as they see fit.

      If this was a bust for My Little Pony then yes, it would be offensive.

      Also this statue is much less sexualised then what is in the game – does it make a difference that its made of plastic or polygons? ego, who gives a poop about the statue in the first place. If you complain about that, complain about the whole game. Then please, GTFO!

        • The problem with calling this statue sexist, is that it isn’t. In this case, sexism, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. There are those who will ALWAYS cry sexist, or racist, or some other “-ist” when they see something they don’t like, regardless of the intention –or lack thereof– of the product’s designer/manufacturer/etc.

          This is literally just a case of people seeing breasts, projecting their own over-sexualized view upon them, and then assuming that this view is what the creators intended.

        • A severed dick –if not obscured by anythig– probably would cause some uproar. This statue, however, isn’t of exposed breasts, but rather of bikini-clad breasts no different than what you can see at any beach anywhere on Earth.

          I do, however, have a question; WHO is more offended by this statue in general, men or women? I ask because if it’s largely men, they may simply be saying they’re offended because today’s sickeningly-PC culture tells them they should be.

          If women are offended by this, I have a thought on that, too. There is a growing segment of feminists who feel that they should be granted the same rights to go topless in public that men have. Many of these women will also argue in support of public breastfeeding. Their main argument? To them (women, remember), breasts are not sexual parts of the body, and thus shouldn’t be subject to banishment from public view.

          If this feminist position is to be taken seriously, then we must also take seriously the idea that this statue is –in no way whatsoever– a sexualized object. It’s simply a torso. Torsos have breasts. Breasts are, by this feminist ideal, no more sexual in nature than an elbow. Thus, this statue is free of any sexual connotations.

          Furthermore, the only ones complaining about the “sexuality” of this object are the ones who perceive it. Perhaps this indicates that the people who will appreciate this statue are the more sexually, culturally, and idealistically sophisticated of the two groups?

          Food for thought.

  • As someone who really really doesn’t enjoy gore, I still can’t see the problem with this, I find it disturbing, but no more disturbing than gorey animation or movies. I’m clearly not the target audience, for those that are there’s nothing special about this to make it tasteless/any more tasteless than other gore product, is there?

  • I have given up hope for the world… The united states in my eyes is now the biggest pile of sh*t. I seems that majority of people offended are from USA, a country the edition in not even going to be on sale in, F*cking joke.

    I was going to buy this based on the fact that it’s absurd, i love absurd stuff I can put on display, I love buying collectors editions of games just because it comes with some form of display, I bought the $200 portal gun because it was a big amount of money for something that would just sit there on my display shelf, but people would see that and think “What a waste of money”, but thats why I like it.

    I was looking forward to buying this but the choice is being taken away from people who can’t even buy this edition in the first place.

  • You know, I was a little weirded out by this at first. But once i saw it had Dead Island on the base of the statue, it seemed less grotesque, and more fitting for the game…..dont know why hahaha but I would most likely pick it up now.
    Still think it would have been way better if it had a head attatched (zombie of course haha)

  • No way in hell I’d buy something like that, but… so what if it’s in bad taste? Leave it up to the retailers to show some restraint and realise that it’s not suitable for public display. If they have to sell a preowned one later, put a placeholder sign on display instead: “Dead Island Riptide LE: available on request”. Surely that’s not that difficult?
    A game store is a public place frequented by children (as well as adults). There’s this concept – It’s called decorum.

  • After #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe rounded out 2012 as a year of emerging mindfulness in the general gaming public towards females in the gaming community, this kind of marketing stunt is just bad taste. The publishers surely knew it was bad taste, but good on them for targeting and reinforcing a stereotypical demographic.

    Even if people are or are not offended by this statue, it comes as yet another worthy opening to discuss why the current perspectives of the gaming industry, as an entity of producer and consumer, may not be in a healthy state.

    Statue first, to your average gore aficionado, typically part of the film industry, this statue is vanilla material, it’s something to be expected. However, as @_dansargent pointed out earlier, this bust on it’s own is not characteristic enough to be identifiable to the franchise it belongs; is it a bust from the Piranha film franchise? is it from Shaun of the Dead? is it a modern interpretation of the lawnmower scene from Braindead/ Dead Alive? Removed from the Dead Island packaging, this bust is unidentifiable.
    “But Dead Island is a hack ‘n slash game where whole body dismemberment isn’t unusual!” That’s correct, a bloody torso is a normal sight within the contained environment of the game, though the bloody torso is always that of a zombie, instantly identifiable by the colour palette, wound detail and textured tissue decay. There are no prominent bloody torsos from fresh survivors.
    The environmental context of the game is a tropical resort, on a fictitious island off the coast of PNG, populated mainly by Australian tourists. The Union Jack bikini on this statue does not feature heavily as a texture on either survivors or zombies. Once again, without the packaging this statue is not easily attributed to its franchise.
    Bloody torsos were never used to advertise the Dead Island series before this, so there is no artistic precedent. If you look at the advertising for the initial game, the focus on bikini-clad zombies is minimal. Casual viewers of the game will not identify the statue to the franchise.
    In the context of the Dead Island franchise, a bikini-clad torso might be an appropriate in-joke to consumers familiar with the first game, however the same effect will not be had by those who aren’t. As promotional material, this statue has little relevant standing with the Dead Island franchise.
    The producers were very off base when they chose this as the promotional piece, there are myriad examples that would be more appropriate to the franchise.

    The question of whether this is sexualised or not? We’ve got a statue modelled after the Venus de Milo, one of the most famous Greek sculptures, which was based on the Greek goddess of love and beauty, inarguably a fine piece of art with mild and wholesome erotic undertones.
    The defining features of the Dead Island statue are the token gore, the pectoral girdle homage to the Venus de Milo, a Union Jack bikini, including a g-string that ends just above the pubic region, and exaggerated breasts. You will notice that the breasts and lower abdominal area leading to the pubic region are largely untouched by gore.
    The focal points of this piece are: gore, breasts, and England (yes, I know the Union Jack features prominently on the Australia flag, but I’m going off what is visually discernible).
    To me, if a focal point of the promotional material is breasts, then the marketers were aiming for the sexual angle.

    Why is this an issue? the outside perspectives on the treatment of females and violence within the gaming industry is already poor. Promotions like this, and acceptance by the gaming public, sends the message that those judgements and perspectives are correct. If we want to be part of a sustainable and mature industry, we need to act appropriately, which includes maintaining an acceptable level of civility.
    Creating or reinforcing an environment of sexualised violence through acceptance, inurement, or ignorance is not civil nor is it acceptable. Sexual violence against women or men is not civil, and is in fact entirely deplorable and unacceptable (BDSM is a consensual act of power and control, it is not to be conflated with sexual violence).
    To those who think this isn’t an issue and that this is all high moral brow beating; morals, education on social issues, and mindfulness are not bad things. Grow up. Read about gender inequality. Understand why this industry could and should be better.

    So far @Shane has best stated my personal thoughts on this, and I’m heavily paraphrasing:
    We as gamers have to explain to ourselves and outsiders why this is acceptable within our industry.

  • Or to the rest of us, it’s just a statue that comes with a game.
    Seriously what’s the big deal? It doesn’t even look that great.

  • I prob won’t get the game on the account Deep silver has no balls to stand up against complainers and sell it anyway.

    Man i used to love chopping up infected chick zombies until they were just a torso, then i would kick them over and over to watch the tits bounce. only stopping once i came.

  • I’ve played my share of violent games (played your share and his share too) but this is just plain strange to me. Come on people! Let’s think about it for a second, how can some of you agree to display a severed bikini-wearing torso in your room and not feel just a ‘little’ bit like a nutcase?

  • Kudos to the marketing team. Regardless of what happens, this got some major press. Nobody will NOT buy the game because of this. It’s probably made heaps more people aware of it. Mission Accomplished.

  • The item is a hacked up bikini clad zombie corpse from a game in which you hack up zombies on a tropical resort island. Many of the zombies in this game are on the beach, in bikini’s or other swimwear due to the tropical location. The figure cuts off just below the hip line, shows no crutch or behind, and has a moderate at best set of breasts under its (perfectly acceptable in real life to wear out in public) swimwear top.
    Sure its not male, but if it was a shirtless male dismembered zombie done in the same style, it wouldn’t make people think “Zombie game set on beach or resort” at all for the simple fact guys walk around everywhere without shirts on.
    Thank-you to everyone opposed to this edition of the game, you have turned it into a very collectable item. The local Game-traders have 4 on display, one in the front window.

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