Square Enix have gotten themselves on the bad side of gamers it seems for once, not for one of their games but with a Facebook application that seems to inadvertently promote/enable internet bullying. The recently released Hitman: Absolution app was pulled by the publisher after gamers and developers complained that it encouraged people to bully others.
The app allowed gamers to place “Virtual Hits” on their Facebook friends, which has led to insulting personalized videos about hair color, the size of one’s manhood and other easy to target human traits. Following the removal of the app, Square Enix released a statement clarifying that they were “wide of the mark”.
Earlier today we launched an app based around Hitman: Absolution that allowed you to place virtual hits on your Facebook friend. 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 offense caused by this.
It’s clear that internet bullying is a big issue today, with technology growing and how we connect with each other becoming ever more easier. Square Enix will be careful not to release any similar projects in the future, the public might not be as forgiving the second time.