SE pulls controversial Hitman Facebook app

After being released after a few scant hours, and after a humongous backlash from the community and gaming press, Square Enix has pulled a controversial Facebook app promoting Hitman: Absolution.

The app in question lets users put out a mock hit on their friends, as explained by Rock Paper Shotgun, and identified them by certain key characteristics. Not necessarily complimentary ones either, but rather derogatory remarks such as having “ginger hair,” “strange odor,” “a small penis,” etc. After the “hit” gets put out, a message is posted on the recipient’s wall saying “I hope you get killed by a hitman!”

SE pulled the app not too long after release amidst users noticing the harsh nature, with people stating that it encouraged cyber bullying. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of an online death threat (generally considered to be a criminal act) and being made fun of for how they looked by others? It’s all for fun and games, right?

SE released an official statement not long after the app was pulled, which reads as follows:

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.

Protip, SE: I know you guys have been struggling lately, but the next time your ad agency suggests a Facebook app that allows for posting of derogatory remarks towards other people, you should probably tell them “NO.”

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Michael Revis
Michael Revis 219 posts

Michael is a man of many things. Journalist, writer, gamer, professional procrastinator, cosplayer, super hero, whale wrestler, evil mastermind, and robot master. And that's just on the weekends.