Oh, those silly videogame companies and their silly marketing campaigns. There are plenty of ways to advertise your game, but as Square Enix recently found out with Hitman: Absolution, it looks like the line gets drawn at virtual death threats.
This past Tuesday, the company released a Facebook app named “Hire Hitman,” which allowed users to choose the details for a “virtual hit,” along with the reason for the assassination. When your hit was sent, the recipient of your message got a message on their Facebook profile that read “I hope you get killed by a hitman!” along with a video of Agent 47 taking out his target using some images from that person’s photo stream.
Even though Square Enix made the hits viewable only to the recipient, the company ultimately decided to take down the app because of the negative feedback they were receiving from the community.
Before all of this happened, Square Enix had a positive view regarding the app, thinking the community would enjoy the dark humor behind it:
“Despite its seemingly dark heart, the experience has its tongue firmly in its cheek, allowing users to input whatever ridiculous reason they want for their friend to be terminated. Whether it’s their bad taste in clothes or inability to get a round of drinks in, the target is left in no doubt as to their ‘crime’.”
Sadly not all jokes get accepted by the majority, especially the more dark-natured ones. Nevertheless, with a unique idea like this, I hope it gets thrown back on the drawing board, because despite the controversy, it really was a unique and oddly proper marketing campaign for Hitman.
Source: Ars Technica