Legacy Interactive, developers of the recently withdrawnLaw & Order II PC title, have apologized for the controversial inclusion of a background photo of child murder victim James Bulger.
As earlier reported, the game features a CCTV camera image of murder victim James Bulger, a two year old toddler who was abducted and murdered in Merseyside in 1982, by two ten year old boys. The case is one of the most infamous in recent British history and the CCTV image widely recognizable from media coverage.
The game's publisher, GSP, said in a statement yesterday, "It has come to our attention that there is an image in the game that may cause offence. As a result we have withdrawn the product from sale with immediate effect."
Today, Legacy president and CEO Ariella Lehrer apologized for the photo, which says that the image was never integral to the game play and was done with little knowledge of the crime itself.
The statement reads, "Legacy Interactive sends our most heartfelt apology to the family of James Bulger for the inadvertent use of a background photo in our Law & Order game. The image was included in the game years ago and without any knowledge of the crime, which occurred in the UK and was minimally publicized in the United States."
"Despite reports speculating that the image is a clue," the statement concludes, "or that the fictional case is a kidnapping, this is completely false. Legacy is proud of its reputation of providing years of family and educational gaming. This was the first time such an event occurred."
Legacy says it has created a patch for the game that will remove the image, and has said it will not be included in any further pressings of the game. The patch can be downloaded via Legacy's website.