Hitman: Absolution promo app pulled over controversy hours after launch
Posted: 04.12.2012 16:12 by Simon Priest Comments: 4
In a staggering PR blunder for Square Enix, a Facebook app that encouraged users to put 'hits' out on your friends has been yanked offline hours after launching. Agent 47 couldn't stomach it.

This bit of Hitman: Absolution marketing included 'identifiers' for targets of these contracted hits by the bald assassin. Among them were female friends having "small tits".

This isn't some extremely tardy April Fools gag ; this actually happened. It immediately struck a nerve for using such bullying language, in a time when online bullying is rife.

Developers within the industry have already exclaimed their genuine shock at something like this not only being put together, even in concept, but actually managing to make it out the door and get published live on Facebook. "With the horrific rise in internet bullying it seems like a risky move to publish an app that encourages bullying," commented Batman: Arkham City developer's Sarah Wellock, community manager at Rocksteady Studios. "All press is good press?"

"The Hitman Facebook advertising thing is just all the kinds of messed up," designer Jos Hendriks from Mass Effect and Dragon Age's BioWare added. "How did anyone think this was a good idea?"

These contract murders via Agent 47's hands included the following 'identifiable traits':

? Her awful make-up
? Her ginger hair
? Her annoying laugh
? Her strange odour
? Her big ears
? Her muffin top
? Her hairy legs
? Her small tits

Among the 'reasons' for the contract hit include 'cheating on a partner'. Male identifiers included ginger hair, sh*t hair or small penis. The Facebook app of questionable sanity, not only taste, was linked directly from, but Square Enix is yet to offer comment.

A video would play showing 47 inspecting the photo of your 'contract hit', him lining up a shot and then an Agency summary screen showing the status of the individual as 'terminated'. Nothing like a good start to a day as having a videogame character assassinate you after a 'friend' tells them you’re easily identified by your small... assets.
Source: Eurogamer

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By nocutius (SI Elite) on Dec 04, 2012
Completely tasteless, no way around it.

I'm usually against political correctness but this drops on a personal level too much.
By Jasca_Ducato (SI Core) on Dec 04, 2012
God knows why they thought this would be a good idea...
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Dec 04, 2012
Do they not HAVE a marketing department?...or a lawyer?! This is just staggeringly bad judgement...
By Hammerjinx (SI Core) on Dec 04, 2012
They probably looked at it from an adult view point where a bit of good natured ribbing is generally fine. It would make more sense in context and be less controversial if the identifiers were ...less qualitative.

Then all you have to worry about is if it's bad taste to send an assassin to headshot your friends.

Sometimes it really feels like the marketing people just hire some clown to make a promo web game, then release it without looking at it.