Sometimes companies get so big that it can be hard for everyone in the company to know what everyone else is doing. That’s fine when the only mix up this created is ordering the wrong kind of ink refills, but when the marketing side approves of and releases an incredibly tasteless, misogynistic, and quite possibly illegal viral marketing app to the general populace, you have a real problem at hand. This morning Square Enix released a Facebook app, “Hire Hitman” that lets you create a contract with Agent 47 of the Hitman series to take out your friends. Within hours, the app was pulled from Facebook and Square Enix issued a statement of 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 offence caused by this.”
The app asks you of who you want to take out. Then it asks you what are their identifiable traits and reason for wanting them dead from a drop down menu. Among the choices for their identifiable traits include:
- Her awful make-up
- Her ginger hair
- Her annoying laugh
- Her strange odour
- Her big ears
- Her muffin top
- Her hairy legs
- Her small tits
After sending the app to your intended target, the mark can click on the link to open a video. It shows Agent 47 with a Facebook profile picture of the target shooting a silenced sniper rifle off-screen. It ends with a mission briefing showing that he succeeded.
On top of the ever so tasteless reason to identify someone by their diminutive bust line and the possible abuse of the app to bully someone on your friends list with this app, the whole death threat thing is sort of, kinda illegal. If someone wants to pursue legal recourse against the company for this app, they might have some solid ground to work on.
This along with its previous debacle concerning even more misogyny has put Hitman: Absolution, despite being a well received game by the critics, alongside Homefront in competition for having the worst PR campaign.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Images courtesy of Rock, Paper, Shotgun