Telltale Games has found itself in hot water for taking developmental shortcuts for the second episode of Batman: The Enemy Within, having distastefully included the dead body of a slain Russian ambassador. In the latest episode, Bruce Wayne and Alfred look through a monitor to look over the Gotham Brokerage robbery, with the screen showing a deceased man in a suit lying in front of a vault door. Astute gamers playing through the latest Batman: The Enemy Within episode immediately recognized the deceased man as Andrey Karlov, a Russian Ambassador to Turkey who was assassinated last December. Telltale Games had literally cut out an image of him post-assassination and plopped him right into the Gotham Brokerage.
Many gamers immediately denounced his unnecessary inclusion as a disrespectful developmental shortcut by the studio. It stands to reason that Telltale Games had used his body pose as a reference, and should have replaced Karlov’s body with a generic businessman at some point in the process. Having somehow skipped this part entirely, the developers now found themselves in hot water for the distasteful gesture.
Telltale Games has yet to officially comment on the issue. Nevertheless, gamers can take a look at Karlov’s accidental posthumous cameo around 19 and a half minutes into the clip below:
Last December, Andrey Karlov had been speaking at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey called “Russia in the Eyes of the Turks” when he was shot from behind several times. His attacker, a 22-year-old off duty police officer, shouted about Russia’s involvement in Syria and the Battle of Aleppo before he was gunned down by Turkish security forces. Both men were then rushed to hospital, where they both succumbed to their respective injuries. A day after his death, Karlov was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation by the Kremlin.
It’s not uncommon for developers to be forced to apologize for the accidental inclusion of distasteful content, whether these be offensive email blast titles or even the inclusion of schoolgirl-themed dancers at a branded party. That being said, it’s not every day that games rip content straight out of real life scenarios and throw them into the mix, although media outlets have repeatedly mistaken gaming content for real life material in the past.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Andrey Karlov, as his inclusion in Telltale’s Batman was (hopefully) a grievous mistake.
Episode 2 of Batman: The Enemy Within is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.