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Offensive Hitman App Launched And Promptly Pulled

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HitmanAbsol

From the sexy nuns to ignoring negative reviews, Hitman Absolution is no stranger to controversy. One would think publisher Square Enix would have learned their lesson by now but, if the newest stunt is any indication, they haven’t. This morning, they launched a website that let you send out hits for your Facebook friends. You could identify the target with features like big ears or bad tattoos. Harmless fun, right? It then goes into categories such as “small tits” and “small genitals.” Now I’m not an expert in marketing but I’m pretty sure insulting your customers private parts, and threatening them with murder, won’t persuade them to buy your product.

Update: While writing this, the site has been shutdown and Square sent out an apology, “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.” While the quick and proper apology is appreciated, it makes me wonder why they thought this was a good idea in the first place. If the recipient didn’t realize that this was a joke to promote a video game, the situation could have quickly escalated out of control. The original press release can be read after the break.

Original Press Release:

FACEBOOK APP “HIRE HITMAN” CREATED TO PROMOTE HITMAN: ABSOLUTION

BAFTA winning creative agency Ralph has teamed up with videogame publisher Square Enix to create a personalised video experience that lets fans put a ‘hit’ on their mates on Facebook.

The experience brings the iconic character of Agent 47 to life in a moody, live action video which incorporates the target’s individual information from their Facebook account. Agent 47 tracks them down and pieces together his sniper rifle before assassinating them with cold, clinical precision. Pulling together a collage of their photos, the victim then witnesses their life flash before their eyes.

Despite its seemingly dark heart, the experience has its tongue firmly in its cheek, allowing users to input whatever ridiculous reason they want for their friend to be terminated. Whether it’s their bad taste in clothes or inability to get a round of drinks in, the target is left in no doubt as to their ‘crime’.

“Hire Hitman” was created to celebrate the best selling game Hitman: Absolution. The experience is another opportunity for fans of the series to immerse themselves in the Hitman universe.

“Hire Hitman” was created and produced by multi-award winning, EMMY nominated digital creative agency Ralph, who specialise in creating interactive content for the entertainment industry. The company has made many promotional and advertising campaigns for companies including HBO, MTV, BBC, ITV, AMC, FX, Showtime and almost every major US film studio.

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