Videogame publisher Square Enix has pulled a controversial Facebook promotion for Hitman Absolution. The promotion, which until recently was hosted on the game’s official homepage, gave users the chance to threaten and target Facebook friends for mock assassinations.
Users could target a friend and then choose from a list of features they could be indentified by. The list included descriptions such as “his small penis” and “his ginger hair” for male friends and “her muffin tops”, “her hairy legs” and “her small tits” for female friends. Reasons for the hit include “cheating on his/her partner” and “they smell bad”.
To the surprise of absolutely no one – except the people responsible for putting this promotion together – the response to this campaign was overwhelmingly negative. Gamers, games media outlets and even game developers waded in to condemn the promotion.
Square Enix pulled the promotion from the Hitman Absolution website a mere three hours after it went live and issued the following statement:
“Earlier today we launched an app based around Hitman: Absolution that allowed you to place virtual hits on your Facebook friends. Those hits would only be viewable by the recipient, and could only be sent to people who were confirmed friends.”
“We were wide of the mark with the app, and following feedback from the community we decided the best thing to do was remove it completely and quickly. This we’ve now done. We’re sorry for any offense caused by this.”
IO’s new videogame starring the bald, bar-coded contract killer Agent 47 is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, the gaming community expressed its collective disgust at Hitman Absolution’s E3 video, which showed 47’s brutal dispatchment of a group of women clad in latex and sporting nun’s habits.