Some news has been hitting the Internets in regards to the new zombie-inspired monster that is Dead Island and its recent change to the box art. Deep Silver was forced to water down their logo by removing the image of a hanging body from the palm tree to a more fan friendly and timid zombie strolling on his merry way. The publisher has confirmed that the box art will be altered in North America (as Americans apparently are easily influenced), but will remain the same in other regions. Also confirmed is the fact that the in game logo will revert back to its original form with our good friend, the hanging zombie.Let’s take a look at the change. You can see the original logo above, here’s the altered version.
Although subtlety different, this is more of an issue of the ESRB being hyper sensitive on something that really is not even intended to be the focal piece of the box art. Remember folks, we are talking about the logo not the actual image of the box art. The logo is smaller than an inch and is hidden in a corner of the box where no one will pay attention to it unless they are scrutinizing things.
The watered down logo is nothing more than an attempt to appease an ESRB that felt the original was not compliant with their guidelines. The change really takes the mystery and eerie nature of the title away, which is the real core of the game, thoughts of a family on vacation being overwhelmed and making dire choices to survive. The ambiguous design of a hanging body (either human or zombie) was on purpose to invoke thought and emotions, while this new one just depicts a zombie – go ESRB and your stifling of creativity.
The actual box art image is still unknown and I can only hope that Deep Silver pushes the limits of what is “suitable for inclusion” by the ESRB. Expect to be mauled by zombies in Dead Island some time in 2011. Let us know your thoughts on this change and what the ESRB forces upon us.