Microsoft has been forced to apologise after a perceived reference to a racial slur appeared in the subject line of a marketing email for the upcoming zombie-survival game Dead Rising 4.
The email was sent to Xbox Live users, advertising an online festive “zombie choir,” an interactive piano where zombie noises are assigned to each of the notes of the keyboard, allowing players to make music from their growls. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the zombie noise that they picked for the email header happened to be “NNNNGGGHHHAAAA,” which some interpreted as alluding to the n-word.
It is unclear exactly who complained to Microsoft, but they issued a swift apology via Larry Hyrb on Twitter.
Today we sent a DR4 email where a zombie roar was interpreted by many as a racial slur. We apologize and promise to do better next time.
— / Larry Hryb / + 1m (@majornelson) November 22, 2016
Many responses have ridiculed Microsoft for apologising for what was clearly not meant to be offensive, even though the mistake may have been obvious:
— E F reign (@EFreign) November 22, 2016
I was like 'What did that zombie call me??"
— TXJ (@Gamer1Mack) November 22, 2016
@majornelson Never thought I'd see the day where even zombie roars are interpreted as racist, but.. I shouldn't be surprised anymore!
— Reclai♏️er Rob (@ReclaimerRob) November 22, 2016