Oh Hitman: Absolution, you are too good of a game to have been as terribly marketed as you have been. I'm sure we all remember the Agent 47 kills sexy nuns for some reason trailer debacle from earlier this year, and now Square Enix has a new poorly-thought-out campaign to make amends for, which it already began doing within hours of anyone noticing it.
The concept in question was Square Enix's delightfully death-threat-laden Hire Hitman campaign for Facebook users. In the campaign, those with Facebook accounts could essentially craft a custom death threat for any Facebook user it saw fit. Okay, so that's generally awkward enough on its own, except that it also came with a remarkably offensive series of traits one could use to identify their "targets," and reasons for elimination. You could identify targets by noting their "tiny penis" or "small tits," and then decide they should die because they have "terrible taste in music" or for cheating on their partner. Lovely.
For its part, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has already pretty well covered the emotional spectrum one might feel when first learning of such a reprehensibly ill-conceived...thing. And within a breath of their story going up, Square Enix pulled the app, releasing an apologetic, if perhaps unnecessarily punny statement that read, in part, "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."
So, Square Enix did a stupid, offensive thing, then realized it did a stupid, offensive thing and pulled it. That's great, though I am still left bewildered and wondering how this made it past the chain of approvals in the first place. Who looks at a Facebook app where you can call people out for their regrettable genitalia (among other insulting things) and threaten them with (fictional) murder, and says, "Yes! This is the direction our marketing campaign needs!"
Someone who probably shouldn't be in charge of marketing products anymore, that's who.