An advertisement for Dead Island: Riptide depicting a suicide bombing has been banned in Australia.
The advertisement depicts a couple committing suicide in the face of a zombie onslaught, followed by the Dead Island logo, which depicts a dead man hanging from a tree.
The Australian Advertising Standards Board received a number of complaints, with most concerned about the spot's depiction and handling of suicide, reports Mumbrella.
The Australian distributor of Dead Island: Riptide, All Interactive Entertainment, provided the following response.
"The first scene of the advertisement does imply the suicide of the protagonists; however this is implied rather than explicit, and is presented in a context readily recognisable as a fantasy i.e. an overwhelming zombie invasion.
"The scene does not imply that suicide is a viable option in a real world situation. I believe it is substantially dissociative and is unlikely to draw any parallels in the mind of anyone who has had the deep misfortune to have been affected by the suicide of a family member or friend."
The board went on to rule that "the issue of suicide is a depiction of violence which is not justifiable even in the context of an advertisement for a computer game aimed at adults."
The Dead Island series is no stranger to controversy: its Zombie Bait Edition was heavily criticised for its "offensive" depiction of a bloodied female torso. The publisher apologised following the edition's unveiling, but ended up releasing it anyway.