Telltale Games, the studio that created the hit video game franchises The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales from the Borderlands, have become famous over the years for the studio’s signature, episodic releases. Yet Telltale’s popularity has been in decline as of late; players have criticized both the dated engine and the deceptively linear plots – a particularly egregious crime, considering the seemingly choice-based narratives for which the studio originally became well-known.
It’s this latest scandal, however, that has impacted Telltale’s reputation the most. The studio’s second episode for Batman: The Enemy Within features an image of a plundered bank vault with an apparently deceased guard sprawled out before it. Unbeknownst to most players, however, the guard is none other than the late Andrew G. Karlov, who this past December was assassinated in Ankara, Turkey by a local policeman.
The connection was originally discovered by Bro Team Pill, a Canadian YouTube personality, who revealed his discovery over Twitter (Warning: Graphic Content):
The source image, which went viral last year, shows Karlov’s inert body at an art gallery shortly after his murder at the hands of the off-duty policeman, who would later be revealed as one Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş. While Altintas would be quickly killed by security forces, the coming weeks would be slow to recover from the incident, as experts and civilians alike theorized on the possibility of escalating tensions between Turkey and Russia. Many drew comparisons between Altintas’ actions to the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand of Austria, whose death led to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
While luckily no such escalation occurred, Telltale’s bizarre decision to include the late diplomat in their video game is nonetheless a tasteless move, and one not likely to escape criticism from the greater community. How the studio will react is up in the air; the official Telltale Twitter account has been silent on the matter, and no statement has yet been made.