Hitman: Absolution Site Wants You To Threaten Your Friends With Really Tacky Insults [Update: Square Enix Apologizes]

Illustration for article titled emHitman: Absolution/em Site Wants You To Threaten Your Friends With Really Tacky Insults [Update: Square Enix Apologizes]

Look, it's already pretty clear that the folks at IO Interactive like a particularly adolescent style of joke-making, what with the closet-humping and all. But the latest effort at promoting the Square Enix published game invites you to fling their poor taste at your Facebook friends. It's pretty tacky.

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As spotted on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Hire Hitman is a site that hooks into your Facebook profile and lets you aim the series' lethal protagonist at your social network buddies. Not too bad so far, right? The icky stuff comes when you pick the reason you want Agent 47 to kill your friends' identifiable traits. In the drop down menu, nestled in with other rude observations, the selections include small genitals for men or small breasts for women. Classy, no?

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Illustration for article titled emHitman: Absolution/em Site Wants You To Threaten Your Friends With Really Tacky Insults [Update: Square Enix Apologizes]

Completing the selections generates a video that has the data you input popping up on Agent 47's laptop and pictures from your target's photo albums flit on-screen to represent flashes of their life passing before their eyes as they die.

Maybe you really like Hitman and want to get your friends to play it. Fine. But, it doesn't really seem like insulting them with bullying language is the way to go about it. And, sure, the defense might be that you and/or Square Enix are having a laugh in the spirit of their game. But the person on the receiving end might not be laughing at all.

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Update: As of this writing, the Hire Hitman site appears to have been pulled down by Square Enix and previously generated hits redirect to the main Hitman homepage.

Update 2: Square Enix has sent along a statement that apologizes for their Hitman Facebook app:

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.

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DISCUSSION

KillerBeeTX
KillerBeeTX

This is what happens when you involve a "marketing" team and a "social networking" team in the development of your crappy Facebook game. Video game companies, especially the marketing side, need to pull their collective heads out of their asses and realize that a VAST majority of gamers are no longer the homephobic, racist, self-absorbed, 13 year old "1337" kids who pound Red Bull and Mountain Dew at LAN parties while browsing 4chan. The landscape has changed.

The Spike video game awards are a perfect example of what I am talking about. It is embarrassingly sad how out of touch the marketing side of video games is with reality.