One of the unlockable skills for Dead Island leading lady Purna allows her to deal extra damage against male victims. It's called Gender Wars in the game, but the original skill was apparently named "Feminist Whore."
The errant bit of renamed text was discovered by a resourceful computer gamer who found the original skill name buried in the code for the non-retail version of the game that was accidentally sent to digital game store Steam.
In the code, the game lists some of Purna's skills as "TeamSpirit1Purna", "SharpApprenticePurna" and "FeministWhorePurna".
Reached for comment this morning Techland confirmed that Feminist Whore was indeed the original name for the Gender Wars skill. The inappropriate name was caught by the developers and changed, they said, but remained in one debug, diagnostic file which ended up in the actual game.
Reached for comment this morning, publisher Deep Silver confirmed to Kotaku that the line of code was in an early build of the game.
"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," Blazej Krakowiak, Techland International Brand Manager, said via email. "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."
Publisher Deep Silver also responded with a prepared statement:
"These unfortunate actions were of one individual at developer company Techland and do not in any way represent the views of publishing company Deep Silver."