The latest Hitman Absolution trailer follows a band of sexy nuns as they try to take out Agent 47. Of course, that doesn't happen. Agent 47 violently takes each of them out. Then, the internet exploded in a torrent of criticism.
Tore Blystad, the game director, addressed the criticism in a recent interview with IGN:
"We’re sorry that we offended people – that was truly not the intention of the trailer. We were surprised that it turned into such a huge topic. Something similar happened with our Sniper Challenge pre-order bonus... We just wanted to make something cool, it wasn’t the intention to stir up anything.... The Hitman games as a series has always been extreme in many ways...The religious themes have been there from the very beginning, along with outlandish party scenes. And there are a lot of movie influences in Hitman Absolution, like Tarantino and Rodriguez. The grindhouse theme is something that we’re using throughout the game. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies – these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme."
It's good that he seems apoligetic, however, it's beside the point. I, and I believe that most other gamers would agree (let me know), that the video is not exactly offensive. We have the internet, we see worse every day. The video is insulting. It is sexist, of poor taste, and it panders to us as if we were slobbering halfwits willing to purchase anything we can fap to. IO and Square Enix obviously have a low opinion of their audience.
I don't want IO and Square Enix to be apologetic for offending us. I want them to apologize for their marketing methods. Furthermore, I want them to understand why all there is controversy in the first place. The trailer gets "downvotes" and "dislikes" because the audience feels insulted. We just don't want to be pandered to. We want something deeper than a few sexy nuns and a bloody battle.
I believe things are slowly moving in a good direction. Most of the marketing still sucks, but gamers are finally speaking out and it's time the big publishers step back and hear us. Give us something meaningful (some gameplay footage, a bit of the story, even something sexy with a more mature context). We will listen and, if it's good, we will like it.
I truly hope this article gets back to Blystad (and some of the other game directors out there). The industry needs to understand why there is an outcry.
Let me know what you think about all this. I presumed to speak for the great majority of you out there. Let me know if you disagree.
Oh, and for reference, here is the sexy trailer: