Telltale's Batman seemingly shows real image of assassinated ambassador

Update An image used in-game to depict the aftermath of a bank robbery shares an unsettlingly strong resemblance to a photo of the late Andrei Karlov.

An image used in the second episode of Batman: The Telltale Series bears an unfortunately undeniable resemblance to a photo of the Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov taken just moments after he was publically assassinated at the hands of a Turkish police officer last December.

While it isn’t uncommon for artists or game developers to base scenery and objects off of real-world images, the practice itself requires a certain level of caution and means creators need to carefully vet both the final product and the materials used during production.

In the case of the Telltale image, the in-game moment itself depicts the aftermath of a bank robbery, with two figures laying on the ground on each side of the vault. Based on reports from Eurogamer, the figure on the right appears to be lifted from or heavily modeled after a distinctive photograph taken shortly following Karlov’s death. For comparison’s sake, the two graphic images can be found here.

In recent memory, both Bungie and Naughty Dog have had to rework content and issue statements following in-game assets that were not properly vetted though, admittedly, the issues faced by those two developers were of a less graphic nature.

Update: When contacted by Gamasutra, a Telltale Games representative responded with the following statement:

"An update to the game has been submitted this morning that will be removing the image across all platforms. We regret this incident occurred, and we are taking appropriate action internally to ensure that we continue to maintain our high standards in Production and Quality Assurance."

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