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E3: IO Interactive apologise for Hitman trailer

E3: IO Interactive apologise for Hitman trailer

IO Interactive says it didn't mean to offend anyone with the latest Hitman trailer.

IO Interactive's Tore Blystad has publicly apologised for the recent Hitman: Absolution trailer, which provoked accusations of sexism and misogyny across the industry.

Debuting at E3 2012 earlier this week, the 'Attack of the Saints' trailer featured Agent 47 battling latex-wearing nuns and, according to IO, was based on an actual level from the game.

We’re sorry that we offended people,” Blystad told IGN. "That wasn't the intention of the trailer."

Of course we understand, this has been a very big topic for us and we’ve been reading as much as we could of the articles and responses. We were surprised that it turned into such a huge topic... We just wanted to make something cool, it wasn’t the intention to stir up anything.

Blystad defended the stylisation of the trailer, specifically referring to the latex outfits and religious content, by saying the Hitman series has always been littered with religious imagery and has always been considered extreme.

The religious themes have been there from the very beginning, along with outlandish party scenes...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.

Personally, we think it's a pretty flimsy defence which fails to address the biggest issue of all - that the outfits in question have absolutely no purpose within the trailer other than to shock audiences.

Check out the trailer below, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

41 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
1ad7 7th June 2012, 11:37 Quote
oh screw the PC Crap... The video looked awesome! I cant wait to shoot some nuns!
Hovis 7th June 2012, 11:42 Quote
I think it's funny that every time the horrible, offensive, objectionable trailer is mentioned, the video is also embedded.

Without any shadow of a doubt this is the most successful bit of marketing in recent gaming history.
WarrenJ 7th June 2012, 11:57 Quote
Those latex suited nuns are shooting at a while male.... I'm offended.
Bloody_Pete 7th June 2012, 12:04 Quote
Also there is more of them, so they're ganging up on him. Bullying too...?
ev1lm1nd666 7th June 2012, 12:18 Quote
Is it just me or was that trailer simply (teenage?) nerd porn?

Don't get me wrong, i'll be getting the game based off that trailer myself, I mean, who doesn't want to shoot gun toting nuns in a cheesy motel parking lot?
liratheal 7th June 2012, 12:22 Quote
I can see why people were offended, but eh. Doesn't bother me.
Hovis 7th June 2012, 12:27 Quote
I think it's important not to see this as a case of 'political correctness going mad' or anything like that. The reason people have been miffed is because it paints a pretty dim view of gamers to openly express that we like this sort of thing. And we do like this sort of thing, collectively, it sells. Nobody in gaming gives a crap about a character beating the hell out of women, you can do it in most games. It's not about that.

What offends many people is that this advert nails what so many gamers want, to the extent it's almost too pure. These advertising folks have said, "Here you go, this is what you want isn't it?" and people are, in many cases, upset by or even disgusted by it, because to be confronted by what the gaming public wants in such a raw form can be unsettling. This is where we've been going. We didn't object to seeing Ryu beat the crap out of Chun Li, we didn't object to seeing 47 in the earlier games slaughtering women in bikinis, we didn't complain about Saints Row, we thought it was cute and funny. Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the bottom of the slippery slope.

I guarantee the next Hitman is going to sell by the ton.
MjFrosty 7th June 2012, 12:37 Quote
So who is offended by this exactly? Nuns?

I'm fairly certain there is something in the bible about jealousy.
Deadpunkdave 7th June 2012, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
"...We just wanted to make something cool... It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies – these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme.”

Personally, we think it's a pretty flimsy defence which fails to address the biggest issue of all - that the outfits in question have absolutely no purpose within the trailer other than to shock audiences.

Firstly, I don't think wanting to shock people with a trailer is a bad thing. It's Hitman, we know it, we love it. If you want to get more people into the game then why not show the style that makes the game stand out. That style is very much based on exploitation films as they say.

I fear the day when film-makers, game designers or any other creative folks decide that "We did it because it was cool" is no longer a valid reason to do something. If that were the case, no Tarantino films would ever have been made, entire genres of music would never have been invented and there would be no video games. Doing stuff because it is cool and then showing off about that stuff is how popular culture works, and I don't think they need any more reason than that.
Crunch77 7th June 2012, 13:15 Quote
Nowt offensive about that. It was an awesome trailer.
Griffter 7th June 2012, 14:16 Quote
come on... sexy women / girls and games go hand in hand since the dawn of "revenge of the nerds". and i will say that people must have been looking the other way if this is the first time anyone has seen the use of stylized of sexy nuns.

Comics, movies, peoples secret fantasy's have been indulging in this theme for untold number of yrs. i think they were hot. And was not offended.
Zurechial 7th June 2012, 16:22 Quote
The most offensive thing about this (and every other bit of promotional material about Absolution) is that it seems to have entirely discarded any notion of 47 being a 'silent assassin'.

As far as I can see, the people who deserve to be most offended so far by Hitman Absolution are fans of the original.
Guinevere 7th June 2012, 17:24 Quote
I've been very vocal here on BT when forum discussions have even become close to being derogatory to women. But this trailer? Offensive? To whom exactly? It's just a bit of OTT sensationalism, just what the marketing department ordered. It's over stylised and ridiculous. Come on... those heels? Real catholic nun assassins never wear heels over 3" and that's a fact... well kind of a fact... okay okay I made it up but I doubt they dress like that!

I'm sure a few 13 year old lads will watch it on repeat a few times, but if they've been granted unrestricted access to the interwebs there's a lot worse things they could be viewing.

I'd put serious money on the 'complaints' having a bit of a theme to them. That being that they originate from the deep land-locked masses of the good old U-S of A. The same group of people that repeatedly vote republican and insist that intelligent design is taught in science classes.
thehippoz 7th June 2012, 17:27 Quote
tattooed nuns hmm- now there's an image to burn in your head =]

yeah agree with you guinevere, smell marketing like huangs wood screws! except your last part of course lol and they think I'm looney
Nexxo 7th June 2012, 17:39 Quote
Well, I saw the clip, and my reaction?

BWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! :) :) :)

I mean... Oh, come on! Thats got to be a spoof, right? A parody on horny teenage gamers' fantasies. They can't be serious, right? Right?

Dearie, dearie me...
Bauul 7th June 2012, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
The most offensive thing about this (and every other bit of promotional material about Absolution) is that it seems to have entirely discarded any notion of 47 being a 'silent assassin'.

As far as I can see, the people who deserve to be most offended so far by Hitman Absolution are fans of the original.

This. Most of the nerd rage the trailer originally generated was due to the fact it was a gross misrepresentation of what Hitman was supposed to be about.
PureSilver 7th June 2012, 19:13 Quote
The trailer's kinda stupid, sure - assassins (I assume) wear kit that is functional. Nun's habits, sure; roomy for concealing weapons, carry an air of authority. High heels, not so much. The idea of capable and effective women (even if they are dressed as fetish objects) is surely not as sexist as the previous trailers where 47 surprises Diana in the shower. As for offensive - get real. As far as I'm concerned if the only thing organized religion was guilty of was employing assassins, it would be an improvement over their current and past history of employment of indiscriminate killers.

However, the nerd rage is right. Hitman was a stealth game that (for me) peaked in Silent Assassin, which despite some f***ing stupid levels was a flawed masterpiece. This looks more like a beat-'em-up than a stealth game.
Eiffie 7th June 2012, 19:51 Quote
MY GOD, has no one watched Black Lagoon EVER!? NUNS WITH GUNS, it's a real fictional thing!
Fizzban 7th June 2012, 20:29 Quote
Can't see a problem with the trailer. It is obvious a few seconds in that they aren't actual nuns, mearly dressed up like them. So he is not killing nuns is he. Not like he wandered into a convent and went round butchering innocent women is it. Oh and it is only a game, make believe..far worse is shown in films and people don't bat an eye-lid. Why the fuss?

What a pointless load of hoo-har over nothing.

Great publicity of course, for them. Bad for the medium as a whole though. Will give those nutters at Fox news or Daily Mail something to squeal about I bet.
yougotkicked 7th June 2012, 21:37 Quote
"I am offended by the existence of this trope, and I feel the best response is to lodge a complaint with a single company that has used it in a 3 minute animation half a century (or more) after its establisment"
spectre456 7th June 2012, 22:02 Quote
i feel sorry for those of you who can't see why that trailer would upset some people.
Sloth 7th June 2012, 22:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjFrosty
So who is offended by this exactly? Nuns?
That's what I was wondering watching it. They seem to be the ones with the most reason to be upset.

I loved the trailer. No, it didn't fit Hitman well but on its own it was awesome. Hot nuns in tight leather with guns? Sign me up! Sexy and violent over the top shock effect ftw! They wanted '60s exploitation film quality and they got it, I was half expecting the black nun to take off her hat to reveal an afro.
spolsh 7th June 2012, 23:03 Quote
Well if anyone's offended by that, they probably shouldn't watch "Nude Nuns with Big Guns" ...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1352388/

... about nuns who are sometimes nude and have, um, big guns.

Some people seem to go out of their way to be offended by things. Even the trailer says it's for an 18 rated game. (yes, i know, but i had to watch the trailer, the voices told me to ...)
Nikumba 7th June 2012, 23:47 Quote
Looks awesome, so need to preorder this
Griffter 8th June 2012, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I've been very vocal here on BT when forum discussions have even become close to being derogatory to women. But this trailer? Offensive? To whom exactly? It's just a bit of OTT sensationalism, just what the marketing department ordered. It's over stylised and ridiculous. Come on... those heels? Real catholic nun assassins never wear heels over 3" and that's a fact... well kind of a fact... okay okay I made it up but I doubt they dress like that!

I'm sure a few 13 year old lads will watch it on repeat a few times, but if they've been granted unrestricted access to the interwebs there's a lot worse things they could be viewing.

I'd put serious money on the 'complaints' having a bit of a theme to them. That being that they originate from the deep land-locked masses of the good old U-S of A. The same group of people that repeatedly vote republican and insist that intelligent design is taught in science classes.

hahahaha... and obama is muslem
Jhodas 8th June 2012, 15:55 Quote
There is no such thing as bad publicity, especially for a game like this.
Benetton used more controversial images years ago. I find it amusing that the very people that are offended by this are giving it free publicity. You can't buy that kind of marketing.

As Deadpunkdave said, when it stops being ok to do something creative "because it's cool" in case you offend someone, the creative spirit of humanity dies.
Nexxo 8th June 2012, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectre456
i feel sorry for those of you who can't see why that trailer would upset some people.

It's not that we can't see it; it's just that we do not share the same strength of feeling about it. If that makes us pitiable in your eyes, well, that's your feelings about it.
RichCreedy 8th June 2012, 16:39 Quote
whilst i am against sexism, i am not offended by the trailer, i showed my wife the trailer as well, and mentioned the sexism critism, and she said so what, it's just a game, and loads of films do exactly the same thing. she was not offended.
walle 9th June 2012, 00:59 Quote
This clip demonstrates the rot in the video game industry today. Just repetitiveness of more violence and more sex presented with enhanced graphics. I don't know what else to say really.
Waynio 9th June 2012, 08:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Well, I saw the clip, and my reaction?

BWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! :) :) :)

I mean... Oh, come on! Thats got to be a spoof, right? A parody on horny teenage gamers' fantasies. They can't be serious, right? Right?

Dearie, dearie me...

Totally what I was thinking, this is me while watching the new trailer.
Really??? lolz lolz, REALLY??? lolz aplenty & so on all the way through. :) Funniest trailer I've seen in maybe forever for a game because for hitman games it has a kinda serious tone & this trailer was completely unexpected madness. :D Epic joke Eidos now wheres the real trailer. :)


I know what this is, first they do the hitman thing of pretending to be nuns & pretending badly not even trying, 47 catches onto them being dodgy with the tattoos, makeup & heals with his sharp eyes, the hitladys notice he noticed so plan b kicks in & they get in group formation & flash in fruity clothes to try to make him fall into a state of drooling shock but that didn't work on 47 as he's dead downstairs, or something, so plan c goes ahead & it just kicked off & he whooped ass. What????

That's the script for the trailer.... right???. :D

Really, I really liked the look of a new hitman & it's been waaaaay overdue, you could rise out of the coffin in the last one at the end credits to escape so they left the series open for at least another game in the series so I'm sure it has a fairly solid fanbase from back then but this is purely to raise controversy & lolz absolutely on purpose to get a load of extra word out there about the game which will make people who had no interest in the game take big interest to play the controversial game that people say not to play, the things I've heard some say about GTA are utterly bizarre & totally untrue but stories get mangled from 1 person to the next & this explains bizarre stories that give things a very bad name, more bad, more some might want to play. :D

The only thing I was shocked about is it did not look a bit like a hitman game, looked more like some kind of a crazy spoof compared to earlier gameplay footage where you can still sneak around or be a gun toting crazy git or silently take guards out that I've seen of the game set in the abandoned library which looks awesome & really looking forward to it still, that supernatural skill to see where guards are going to go I won't use in the game though, that's not 47. :)

Did Eidos really need to do that to increase interest in the series though?. Quite possibly I think if I'm honest, risky = definitely, it will likely piss off religious people & feminists, they can get extremely pissed off about things like this. Do I care as long as this awesome game releases & that was just a cheap publicity stunt, no. :D

Do I like bad things in reality = no, do I like craziness in games = yes, do I like straight up 47 = yes, will I like the new hitman = hopefully.

Before seeing this new trailer which is totally obvious to spark interest in people unfamiliar with 47.

Do I like bad things in reality = no, do I like craziness in games = yes do I like straight up 47 = yes, will I like the new hitman = definitely.

So the only shock to me is them doing a cheesy trailer for a badass game that loks like a crazy spoof to try & get more interest in the game, no biggie though I want a new hitman game but one like the one I seen on earlier footage I've seen, but funny spoof type levels as DLC could be a good funny idea, I guess. :D
Elton 9th June 2012, 14:02 Quote
Pissing off religious people? Hardly, that last scene in the last hitman was more ridiculous.

Pissing off women? I dunno, because they empowered women, being able to fight in 3-inch heels is impressive. Even if they lost, it's 47. Who's a professional assassin.

It's just a publicity stunt. Let's hope the game delivers.
Showerhead 9th June 2012, 17:10 Quote
I presume offensive may have been what they were going for here. Past few hitman games have all had a "controversial" advert for them.
spectre456 9th June 2012, 18:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
It's not that we can't see it; it's just that we do not share the same strength of feeling about it. If that makes us pitiable in your eyes, well, that's your feelings about it.

To be honest, minorities aren't very well represented in gaming. Especially women. There are almost no female leads in mainstream gaming who have breasts or rear ends that aren't exaggerated. It's just as bad for the supporting cast of women. All overdone stereotypes who are overly sexualised. Perhaps the only lead I can think of who is unique and does women justice is the lead in Beyond Good and Evil.

If 47 was killing a bunch of dudes then nobody would care because men have been done justice in gaming. You get loads of powerful, witty and competent male leads and supporting characters in games. There is nothing for men to prove, really since it's all good already. That is why i can understand why some women would feel offended by the trailer. Not only are the "nuns" sexualised but they are also completely incompetent.


Edit: On a side note, i personally liked the trailer and can appreciate it within the context of the hitman universe. Men and women are both sexualised quite a bit in those games. what I don't find amusing is how 47 so easily dispatched of them (no one covers blind spots?).
Elton 9th June 2012, 19:59 Quote
I'd like to point out Alyx is pretty awesome.

In the context of the real world i'd say those nuns are still competent. just not against 47. We see what we want.
Waynio 9th June 2012, 21:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Pissing off religious people? Hardly, that last scene in the last hitman was more ridiculous.

Pissing off women? I dunno, because they empowered women, being able to fight in 3-inch heels is impressive. Even if they lost, it's 47. Who's a professional assassin.

It's just a publicity stunt. Let's hope the game delivers.

Agreed :) I meant some, not all though, otherwise Eidos wouldn't have felt the need to apologise, some must have been kicking up a fuss over it, personally it made me laugh all the way through the trailer in disbelief. :D
I should have been clearer :)

I'm just trying to work out why some might have been shocked, like some others said the main people who should be shocked is the hitman fans for such an OTT spoof like trailer, I still say wheres the real trailer? was more on the lines of no one lives forever I thought. :D
Lazarus Dark 9th June 2012, 23:14 Quote
I just thought it was nonsensical at best and juvenile at worst.
It's silly to get upset about. I would never put such a thing in a game, and would not recommend than anyone else do it, but if thats what they want I can't stop them (and it would be a waste of my time to even try).
Don't like it, don't buy it.

If we tell them not to put nuns in latex, how is that any different than the Muslims telling everyone they can't draw pictures of Mohamed?
Guinevere 11th June 2012, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectre456
To be honest, minorities aren't very well represented in gaming. Especially women. There are almost no female leads in mainstream gaming who have breasts or rear ends that aren't exaggerated. It's just as bad for the supporting cast of women. All overdone stereotypes who are overly sexualised. Perhaps the only lead I can think of who is unique and does women justice is the lead in Beyond Good and Evil.

Okay she's not been out much lately (Probably in doing her ironing) but what about Lara Croft? They made her curvaceous in the same way they give male leads chiselled jawlines and a ribbed six-pack.

They could have gone OTT on sexing her up, but they didn't need to. That camera view from behind... and that wiggle of hers were enough. She wasn't frumpy that's for certain but then it's just a game so who cares!

She was a strong female lead - end of. The new game appears to be even better in this respect (fingers crossed)
Sloth 11th June 2012, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
They made her curvaceous in the same way they give male leads chiselled jawlines and a ribbed six-pack.
Snipping this bit out, it's just as rare to find a plain and non-attractive male main character. Mass Effect (assuming male Shep), Gears of War, all CoD, BF:BC2 and BF3, Assassin's Creed, all of those games spring to mind with well built, attractive male main characters and you can be sure there's more out there. Most main characters, and really most charaters in general, are overdone. Women aren't as common as men in most games so it's quite noticable with them but it really effects everyone.

Much of it stems from the idea that people are not playing games for reality. If you can make your character look like anything your artists can create then why not give her double D's and a latex bodysuit? And in the case of the male lead: what gamer sitting at home wants to look anything like themselves? They want to play as a well built and tanned man of action. Many "offensive" characters are created to be exactly what their real life counter parts aren't.
cookie! nom nom 11th June 2012, 23:09 Quote
meh so how did sants row get away with stuff like this?
Ending Credits 12th June 2012, 00:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
I think it's important not to see this as a case of 'political correctness going mad' or anything like that. The reason people have been miffed is because it paints a pretty dim view of gamers to openly express that we like this sort of thing. And we do like this sort of thing, collectively, it sells. Nobody in gaming gives a crap about a character beating the hell out of women, you can do it in most games. It's not about that.

What offends many people is that this advert nails what so many gamers want, to the extent it's almost too pure. These advertising folks have said, "Here you go, this is what you want isn't it?" and people are, in many cases, upset by or even disgusted by it, because to be confronted by what the gaming public wants in such a raw form can be unsettling. This is where we've been going. We didn't object to seeing Ryu beat the crap out of Chun Li, we didn't object to seeing 47 in the earlier games slaughtering women in bikinis, we didn't complain about Saints Row, we thought it was cute and funny. Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the bottom of the slippery slope.

I guarantee the next Hitman is going to sell by the ton.

Seen any movie trailers recently?
mars-bar-man 12th June 2012, 00:37 Quote
I'm so offended by that trailer..

Wait.. no I'm not.
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