‘Dead Island’ Code Reveals Controversial ‘Feminist Whore’ Skill

Published 3 years ago by

Sexist Code Left in Dead Island

If you were one of the gamers eager to play Dead Island and purchased the game through steam, you may or not be a little flustered that the game you downloaded was a totally incorrect build of the game. Techland was quick to respond and address the issues, also releasing a lengthy list of day 1 Dead Island bug fixes, but still, the first day was problematic and you likely couldn’t connect online to enjoy multiplayer.

As annoying as it is to see such a thing in modern video game releases, if the game is now patched and rectified, it’s not too big a deal for consumers who can now enjoy the game. What may even be a far bigger issue however, is that the developers included some rather controversial choice words in the coding of the game in describing the skills of one of Dead Island’s playable characters.

Purna was the last announced playable character for the co-op, first-person, hybrid RPG zombie survival game known as Dead Island. She’s a cop turned bodyguard, and also “Feminist Whore.” Woah.

Yes, those exact words are used in the game Dead Island but not in the actual gameplay, instead in the code. A Steam user was poking around the coding of Dead Island and found that phrase used as a second name name for one of the character’s in-game skills. The actual skill is called “Gender Wars” in the game, but in the code it was alternatively written in as “FeministWhorePurna” – a skill, funny enough, that grants the character 15% more damage against male zombies. Other skills have differing names in the code as well, but for obvious reasons, this one stood out and the user posted it on the Steam Forums.

Before anyone blows this out of proportion, launching unfair accusations against the team at developer Techland or publisher Deep Silver, an official response was quickly made.

It has come to our attention that one of Dead Island’s leftover debug files contains a highly inappropriate internal script name of one of the character skills. This has been inexcusably overlooked and released with the game.

The line in question was something a programmer considered a private joke. The skill naturally has a completely different in-game name and the script reference was also changed. What is left is a part of an obscure debug function. This is merely an explanation but by no means an excuse. In the end that code was made a part of the product and signed with our company name. We deeply regret that fact and we apologize to all our customers or anyone who might have been offended by that inappropriate expression.

The person responsible for this unfortunate situation will face professional consequences for violating the professional standards and beliefs Techland stands for.

It’s a shame it was left in as the inside joke is surely not representative of the actual beliefs of the employees of Techland and we hope this bit of negative PR isn’t taken as representative of the teams behind the game or its quality. We’ve met some of the good people behind Dead Island at the events we’ve been to where the game was showcased and like anybody else, a mistake can be made or something could be overlooked. It was not meant to be there and it surely will not happen again. Check out the Dead Island co-op trailer to see what the game is really about.

Wait a minute, a 15% bonus against men? That’s sexist!

Dead Island is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Steam Forums