Hitman Facebook game killed after controversy

Square Enix removes app just hours after launch, apologizing for being "wide of the mark" with game that allowed players to send death threats to friends.

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Square Enix this morning launched a new Facebook app called "Hire Hitman" to promote its newly launched console game Hitman: Absolution. Rock, Paper, Shotgun discovered the app, revealing it tapped into users' accounts and allowed them to send death threats to friends complete with images pulled from their profiles.

The app even called for "hits" based on specific reasons, including "her awful make-up," "her annoying laugh," "her big ears," "her muffin top," or "her small tits." The app, however, was short-lived.

Square Enix pulled the app just hours after it became available and issued a statement apologizing for being "wide of the mark."

"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," reads a line from the statement. "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."

This is not the first instance of fuss surrounding Hitman: Absolution. Outcry over a controversial nun-murdering trailer led IO Interactive to alter the game itself to provide greater context.

Discussion

0 comments
WoZe
WoZe

Come on, that's hilarious. I'd buy that app.

Apastron
Apastron

So, Square Enix actually PAID to hire an advertising agency to come up with the idea, get it made, and then they pulled it within hours as soon as someone pointed out how appalling the whole thing was?

 

Either an outrageous marketing stunt that they intended to pull from the beginning or there are some very stupid individuals working for Square Enix...which some would say is also evidenced from their persistence with FFXIII & XIV.

baq99
baq99

Hahahaha!  I would love this app!!!  They totally shouldn't have pulled it!

Hurvl
Hurvl

Wow, the people in charge of marketing are really a curious mix. This is far from the only controversial marketing stunt I've heard about in recent years. Is this what the phrase "mad money" is about, lol? That it makes people make mad decisions? One can wonder (and yes, I looked it up and know the true definition of the phrase).

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

"her small tits."

What's wrong with small tits? Small and perky are the best kind!

Large and saggy are just awful!

Large and perky are probably fake - which also look awful!

angeloti83
angeloti83

This game is very good in small amounts , I try to play one or two missions a day. Get the most of each.

Borrizee
Borrizee

If you can't see the humor of things you're pathetic. Not saying it should stay or I agree. Never seen it so...

wavelength121
wavelength121

People who get offended over games should just stay away from games. That includes opinions or legislation. Seriously. Religion's already ruined everything else fun, keep your damn bible-thumping thumbs off mah games, sweetcheeks.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Whatever, no big lose. It was full of unnecessary sexist and xenophobic content anyway.

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

LMAOOOOOO This is too much!!! The only way this can get any funnier is if Yahtzee From "Zero Punctuation" did a review on it!! X'^D

kamikazeespleen
kamikazeespleen

Wow...people need to lighten the hell up! I thought this was hilarious and they are hardly death threats. I only sent it to people I knew actually played the game for a start. Soon, there will be no fun left in this world.

toddx77
toddx77

Wouldn't the Hitman logo and Square Enix name show up some where in the death threat sent obviously proving it was a joke?  And for that matter what is wrong with sending out a fake death threat to your friends with an app tied a a Hitman game?  People say a lot worse in the comments on youtube and yahoo lol.

Justinps2hero
Justinps2hero

That idea was never going to work in this day of age. Someone will always be offended, we just have to get used to that now sadly.

fillup0
fillup0

This should have been allowed for Facebook accounts over 21. Anybody with actual sense would realise that they aren't actual death threats. I just find it hilarious that the app was controversial.

soulfulDAGGER
soulfulDAGGER

Common Square/Enix. Seriously?  How about a new Chrono Trigger, Front Mission, or ActRaiser?

so_hai
so_hai

If you're like me, you get a couple of death threats per day anyhow.

Epictacosam
Epictacosam

When was this ever a good idea. Tester: hey lets make an app where you send deaththreats to loved ones. Boss: genuis this just cant go wrong.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

Wow... how did something like this pass alpha testing, let alone beta testing to get into a release stage of development? Did no one on the staff think this was in poor taste?

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

"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."

 

If only they would do that with their console releases as well......

normsta
normsta

LMAO... gold. Brilliant. I wish such games would be accepted among the norms.. Meh, let them live mundane lives.. 

Cobretti1818
Cobretti1818

where is FB in all of this? Surely they have to approve an app before it links in with their site???

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Quite possibly the best facebook deal i have ever seen!

da_post_office
da_post_office

LMAO. This is the greatest idea for a Facebook game ever. However, I understand they would have been assaulted by a salvo of lawsuits in no time.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

For once, I agree with removing/banning something. This could easily be turned into something really negative.

Zloth2
Zloth2

This doesn't just indicate somebody in the company being an idiot.  This means either a LOT of people are idiots or they have a massive problem with being able to tell truth to power in that company.  Either way, this makes Square/Enix look mighty bad.

 

(But still not as bad as EA's fake protestors stunt.)

BuBsay
BuBsay

I know Square Enix has had a rather extensive track record of screwing up, but there's no way in hell a company can feasibly screw up that badly.

ag_04
ag_04

Maybe it was a strategy to draw attention. Because there is no other reason to do something that stupid.

renome
renome

Also, doesn't Facebook have to approve all of the submitted apps before they're available to public?

renome
renome

I swear, someone's intentionally trying to destroy this franchise. There's no other explanation.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I hate it when they totally rape a respected franchise with some 5000$ cheap-ass Facebook shovelware bearing its name.

DrKill09
DrKill09

...since when did Square get the series anyway?  I thought it was Eidos.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

And somebody just lost their job. They are lucky this got pulled before the mainstream media picked up on it. They really didn't think it through at all.

melkathi
melkathi

 @OmegaGear I guess alpha testing included all the people who thought it would be a good idea to begin with. Beta testing then added part of the Hitman fanbase the app was targeted at and who again would think it a good idea. When they went Live with it, suddenly the app was used on the rest of the world: ex-girlfriends, random classmates, colleagues, random peopel you met during last summer's vacation etc and who didn't think death threats were all that fun :)

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

 @Cobretti1818 I actually don't think that they do. I remember fiddling around with programming an FB game years ago, maybe six. I don't recall there being any kind of approval process. I could release, pull, and update my game at will.

Zloth2
Zloth2

 @BuBsay

 It looks to me like it can.  I wonder who's going to take the fall for this?

renome
renome

 @DrKill09 The same Eidos that lost over £100 million in 2008 and was bought by Square Enix?

Borrizee
Borrizee

@Lord_Python1049 true,bullying is never nice and can have some hard consequences on the net or not just have respect for everyone and there meanings.

b10nutz
b10nutz

 @Zloth2 

 Hopefully the ones that design the boss fights in Deus EX: HR (yes i know just wishful thinking)

DrKill09
DrKill09

 @renome  Didn't know that.

 

They made a LOT more games I liked than Square.  Only Square games I liked were Rad Racer 1 and 2 until Sleeping Dogs and Just Cause 2.