Hitman creators Square Enix recently removed their questionable advertising campaign for the assassin game which allowed people to put hits on their Facebook friends. Before the app was promptly taken down, it allowed you to mock the people you wanted to send a death threat to for a number of reasons like; small tits, awful make-up, ginger hair, annoying laugh, strange odor, muffin top or big ears!
The app was initially sent out to people on the mailing list, but now if they click on the link – they will be rerouted to the Hitman page.
Before it was shut down, John Walker from RockPaperShotgun.com murdered someone called Emily Madeupname. He told Agent 47 to identify her by her “small tits” and the reason he gave for wanting her murdered was “cheating on her partner”. Then to top it all off, Emily Madeupname gets to watch a video of her own assassination!
The campaign was thought up by those at the advertising agency Ralph, who must have forgotten that online death threats are illegal. Ok, so admittedly I can see the funny side of this app, it seems like something that my buddies and I would enjoy using to make each other giggle, but in reality it was never going to go down well with everyone and was bound to cause offence!
Square Enix must have received a camel load of complaints because the app was taken down almost instantaneously. After they removed it, the company released this 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 offence caused by this.”
There response time to the complaints was rather impressive, but it is a little mystifying that no one in either company thought that such an app would cause this kind of stir before they released it.
For those of you who were excited about the opportunity to mock murder your buddies via social media all is not lost. You could always get the Action Movie FX app from Bad Robot Interactive that will allow you to create short videos of your loved ones being bashed with boulders or hit with fireballs. You can then post these movie masterpieces to Facebook for all your mutual friends to enjoy. Ok, so it’s not quite the same thing, but it should go some way towards quelling your desires for humorous violence!