Hitman keeping things classy.

#1 Posted by dudeglove (9462 posts) -

From http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/12/04/hijinks-square-say-threaten-hits-on-your-friends/

TL;DR? Square Enix posted a Hitman-themed facebook app that allowed you to send hilarious death threats to your friends. It has since been promptly removed with any previous links now redirecting straight to the main hitman webpage. Square issued a statement apologizing for what is probably turning out to be the worst goddamn promotional campaign for anything related to games ever in existence. Hell, at least Nintendo knew the power glove was shit, they even said as much:

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So I guess the Marketing Department at Square Enix are going insane from doing Scarface-sized lines of coke in the boardroom - because, y'know, we're in a recession or whatever - which might actually be the reason for the Agent-47-beating-the-shit-out-of-spandex-nuns vid? At this point I'm almost curious as to what the next Hitman PR move will be. Enjoy the article; it has pictures.

Hijinks! Square Enix Say: Threaten ‘Hits’ On Your Friends!

Square Enix aren’t having a brilliant Winter. With profits pointing downward, and Hitman a bit of a stinker, they surely must be on the phone with the Humble Bundle folks, trying to follow THQ. But everything’s going to improve with their latest marketing campaign for the disappointing baldie killer! “SQUARE ENIX,” says the email that’s just arrived in my inbox, “WANTS YOU TO PUT A HIT ON YOUR FRIENDS”. Ahaha! Threaten to murder your chums! And mock them for their looks, or the size of their breasts or penis!
Don’t worry! It’s jokey! You can pick jokey reasons to threaten people on Facebook (dead link removed – Tidying Ed) with a jokey murder! Reasons, amongst many others, like:
  • 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
No, I’m really not making any of those up. Square have really launched an advertising campaign for Hitman in which you can threaten people on Facebook using bullying terms, mocking people for their looks, and the size of their breasts. I murdered the puppy-faced Emily Madeupname because she’s cheating on her partner! That’s a reason it offered me. I threatened to kill someone on Facebook using this advert, telling Agent 47 to identify her by her small tits, and to kill her for cheating. Then she gets to watch a video of her being assassinated! OH WHAT LARKS!
Here’s how it all hilariously plays out:

Haha! You can threaten your friends with death via Facebook too. It’s cyber-bullying, sure, and making death threats online is illegal, but it’s for advertising! All in the name of jolly good fun!
For those asking, this is the work of advertising agency Ralph, who we’re informed have won an EMMY!
Update: Since publication this promotional app has been deleted, and a statement has been issued by Square Enix. It reads:
“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.”
A good follow-up, after a swift reaction, certainly. But it remains utterly bewildering that no one at the company thought of these issues before publication.
#2 Posted by Metal_Mills (3397 posts) -

One of the worst marketing ploys in gaming history.

#3 Edited by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

That's some scummy-ass marketing that's for sure. Still it's weird to see them say that Absolution was "a stinker" like it was some kind of verifiable fact. That strikes me as classless too, it's not like the devs made this ad campaign, they just made a good game. Also they weren't honest with the article, they say you can cite small tits or ginger hair as a reason for killing people when really that's from the "identifiable by" section, as you can see on their own screenshot. That kind of sensationalist writing is why I avoid RPS like the plague.

#4 Edited by Ghostiet (5709 posts) -

What was the point of this advertising campaign? Not only is it shitty, but I just don't get how it could appeal to anyone.

That said - the RPS article just screams "sleaze" and "asshole".

#5 Edited by Aronman789 (2737 posts) -

I can't even believe someone thought this would be a good idea. Also, John Walker has got to be one of the worst video game journalists I've yet come across.

#6 Edited by Chaser324 (7189 posts) -

I don't see how someone could think this was a good idea, especially in this era of political correctness, litigation, and anti-bullying campaigns.

@MikkaQ: Yeah, I think "stinker" is a misrepresentation of the critical reaction to that game.

#7 Posted by YOU_DIED (712 posts) -

@Aronman789 said:

Also, John Walker has got to be one of the worst video game journalists I've yet come across.

What? Really?

#8 Posted by dudeglove (9462 posts) -

@Aronman789 said:

Also, John Walker has got to be one of the worst video game journalists I've yet come across.

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Could someone please explain the recent GB forum hate for RPS is coming from? It seems awfully out of the blue.

If it's any consolation, their podcast (which I tried listening to once for about 20 minutes) is abysmal. Pretty sure it was just a recorded Skype call.

#9 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5008 posts) -

Nothing but "home runs" from that marketing team.

#10 Posted by evanbower (1244 posts) -

The idea of putting a hit out on your friends is bad enough to begin with, but for me it's definitely the "small tits" and "ginger hair" parts that put it into shaking my head in bewilderment territory.

#11 Posted by TheBlackPigeon (335 posts) -

Agent 47's standards have fallen pretty damn low if he's taking jobs like this.

The Dark Brotherhood, on the other hand. Well....I can see Cicero taking a job to off somebody because they have a small penis.

#12 Posted by TheHT (12570 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie said:

Nothing but "home runs" from that marketing team.

More like "home NUNS", am I right hhahahaheueuheuheuhehehuheuhe!?


#13 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5008 posts) -

@TheHT: I don't know if I should follow you or ignore you for the rest of my life.

#14 Posted by Aronman789 (2737 posts) -

@dudeglove: I love RPS, it's the only other game site I frequent, I just can't stand Walker.

#15 Posted by oraknabo (1589 posts) -

I just want to say I love RPS as much as the Giant Bomb crew.

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