BioWare addresses controversial ‘Dead Shepard’ Mass Effect statue

sculpture of femshep

Fans unimpressed with Mass Effect death statue

Yesterday, BioWare announced it was opening pre-orders on a limited edition sculpture of Captain Shepard in commemoration of the Mass Effect series. Fans, however, were not impressed with the sculpture in question, which depicts the corpse of the female variant of Captain Shepard (known to the fanbase as “FemShep”) adrift in space as we find her during the prologue of Mass Effect 2.

sculpture of dead captain shepard floating in space
Image via BioWare

Fans raised many questions, such as the choice to idolize such a tragic moment. “Celebrate life, not death”, as they say. Fans appreciate that the death of Shepard is an important moment, though some would argue that it is perhaps not one that we should celebrate — especially in a way that is simultaneously expensive and cheapening.

Another point fans raised was the potential misogynistic iconography of the piece The only corpse of Shepard up for preorder was that of the captain’s female version — and in a striking pose that some opined sexually objectifies the character. Very few official FemShep statues actually exist, and for one of the few to be of her floating corpse seemed a little grim to some in the fan community.

BioWare was quick to address the issue

A little after revealing the statue, BioWare tweeted a statement. It says that the statue is intended as part of a series that will celebrate the key moments of the Mass Effect franchise and that the studio perhaps did not convey this properly. Though it admits to perhaps not offering the best context, the statement claims that the mistake was the way in which BioWare presented the statue, rather than the choice of statue itself.

BioWare has placed the sale of the statues on indefinite hold and has immediately refunded all of the initial preorders. The company states that it is rethinking its strategy regarding the marketing of the celebratory series of Mass Effect statues going forward.

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Tiago Manuel
Tiago is a freelancer who used to write about video games, cults, and video game cults. He now writes for Destructoid in an attempt to find himself on the winning side when the robot uprising comes.
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