Actual image of assassinated Russian diplomat used in Telltale’s Batman game

Oh... Why?

**Note: This article contains images that some may consider graphic.**

When it comes to entertainment like TV, movies, and video games, you aren't typically exposed to actual dead bodies – unless the movie you're watching is a documentary on deadly historical events or news footage. In the case of historical documentation, you at least have some sort of context for the image. 

In the case of Telltale Games' Batman: The Enemy Within, we are shown an actual dead body with no context to the event that led to that person's real-life demise. 

At around 20 minutes into the game, Batman: The Enemy Within features an image of the Russian ambassador to Ankara lying dead on the floor. The ambassador was shot dead on December 19, 2016, during an attack while the ambassador was attending a public event in an art gallery. The murder was witnessed by countless individuals, including news media.

You can see his body in the screencap below (on the right).

Batman Russia

There are various scenarios that could lead a developer to use the actual image of an actual murder.

  1. They Googled something generic like 'dead body' and grabbed the first image that seemed accessible.
  2. They paid for the image from a stock photo company (it is on Getty) and didn't bother to read the description (or did and didn't care).
  3. They knew what the image was and purposefully used it.
  4. They outsourced this part of the game to someone who either lives under a rock or didn't care.
  5. The image began as a placeholder image and was neglected to be replaced.

The image of the assassinated diplomat could certainly be mistaken for a staged stock photo – the lighting in the art gallery is balanced, the choice of clothing, and the pose of the body. However, it was an interesting choice for a game that doesn't have realistic designs to use an actual body.


If you're still skeptical as to whether it's actually in-game, check out the video below at around 20 minutes.