The latest piece of promotional artwork for the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, seen above, has been considered somewhat controversial for its inclusion of protesters holding a sign which reads “Augs Lives Matter.”
Many have taken this to be a direct reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, but Andre Vu – the franchises’ executive brand director – claims that this was never the case.
Responding to Maveer Heir, a Bioware dev, on Twitter, Vu stated that the ‘Augs Lives Matter’ phrasing was included in the game “way before the current events,” calling the resemblance an “unfortunate coincidence for sure.”
He also argued that “people thinking that we used recent event to promote our game […] isnt the case.”
In an email to Polygon issued later, Heir himself stated that “Someone in marketing should have noticed the image could easily be confused as criticism of Black Lives Matter and not used it to market the game, since there is no way to provide full context from just a handful of concept art.”
Other than Vu’s tweets, Square Enix or Eidos Montreal have yet to officially respond to the controversy.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launches on August 23rd for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.