Hitman promo promotes Facebook bullying
If you logged online early enough today, you could have sent death threats to your friends on Facebook, courtesy of Square Enix and Agent 47 with the "Hire Hitman" app. Not only were these death threats, but they were full-on hits, with the targeted Facebook friend going through a process that flashed pictures from their profiles in front of their eyes before they were killed. To top it off, the hits were identified by awkwardly specific reasons such as "her ginger hair, her muffin top, her hairy legs," or "her small tits."

Yes, this was a real thing you could do this morning. Square Enix since removed the app, not long after launching it and just after Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote about it. We can't imagine why, though Square sent over a statement that cleared it up nicely:

"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."

This attempt at crude viral marketing is reminiscent of other hackneyed ads, such as Resident Evil 6's human butcher, Resident Evil 5's real-world severed-limb hunt, the brass knuckles EA sent us and quickly requested back for Godfather 2, or The Walking Dead FPS' necklace of human ears. Rockstar similarly caved under pressure with Bully in the UK, changing the name to Canis Canem Edit after a maelstrom of hyperbolic public attention labeled the game a "Columbine simulator."

If you want to experience the Hire Hitman app – too bad, because it's gone. Take This Lollipop, however, is still live on Facebook and uses the same premise, though it doesn't allow users to engage in name-calling, bigotry, death threats or misogyny.
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SQUARE ENIX WANTS YOU TO PUT A HIT ON YOUR FRIENDS



FACEBOOK APP "HIRE HITMAN" CREATED TO PROMOTE HITMAN: ABSOLUTION



BAFTA winning creative agency Ralph has teamed up with videogame publisher Square Enix to create a personalised video experience that lets fans put a 'hit' on their mates on Facebook.



The experience brings the iconic character of Agent 47 to life in a moody, live action video which incorporates the target's individual information from their Facebook account. Agent 47 tracks them down and pieces together his sniper rifle before assassinating them with cold, clinical precision. Pulling together a collage of their photos, the victim then witnesses their life flash before their eyes.



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'.



"Hire Hitman" was created to celebrate the best selling game Hitman: Absolution. The experience is another opportunity for fans of the series to immerse themselves in the Hitman universe.



"Hire Hitman" was created and produced by multi-award winning, EMMY nominated digital creative agency Ralph, who specialise in creating interactive content for the entertainment industry. The company has made many promotional and advertising campaigns for companies including HBO, MTV, BBC, ITV, AMC, FX, Showtime and almost every major US film studio.


Visit HIRE.HITMAN.COM to create your own contract today

Watch Trailer for HIRE HITMAN here
http://youtu.be/TA86UXkDgpE

This article was originally published on Joystiq.