This week in jaw-dropping, how-the-hell-did-this-get-made campaigns is Ralph’s very short-lived Facebook one for Square Enix’s Hitman game.
It allowed you to put a “hit” out on your Facebook friends (ie send a hitman after them). This is questionable in itself. But the list of reasons you can give for killing them, and worse, the list of identifying traits you can give to the hitman had my jaw on the floor.
Gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun lists said traits as follows:
- 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
Seriously. Here’s a screenshot to prove it, where he’s chosen a friend to “kill” because she’s cheating (click to enlarge):
That’s not something he’s typed in himself – it’s from a dropdown list of pre-determined selections. Small tits. Ginger hair. Seriously.
Next in this stellar process is a message saying you’ve been wished dead:
And THEN a video of the deed. Amazing.
I have no words.
Unsurprisingly, this campaign was pulled almost as soon as it launched, but the problem is, it DID launch. It was concepted, refined and built, tested and deployed, and no one said “hold on, should we really be suggesting killing people with bad make-up?”. Unbelievable.
Here’s Square Enix’s cringing 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.”
No word yet from Ralph, the agency responsible, though. Disappointing.
Story and pictures via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.