Stating a desire to capture the grindhouse theme made popular by the exploitation movies of the past, developers at IO Interactive have apologized for their Hitman: Absolution trailer, which leads this post. Given the apparent sexism contained within the trailer, which features a scantily-clad team of female assassins disguised as nuns, the apology was given to address any offense that may have been taken during the trailer’s viewing.
The apology, which was given to IGN, via The Escapist, comes from IO Interactive Game Director Tore Blystad, who says:
“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.”
Regardless of your position on the trailer–some say it was sexist, others disagree–the apology has been given, meaning enough offense was taken to make the trailer’s content an issue. Blystad also offered the “grindhouse feel” explanation as a way of explaining the motivation for making such a stage:
“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.”
With that in mind, does the explanation let IO Interactive off the hook? If so, should Robert Rodriguez be criticized for dressing Rose McGowan up like this in Planet Terror, his segment of the Grindhouse double feature?
Much like The Escapist’s article points out, while Blystad’s apology seems genuine, the claim that he or the rest of the IO Interactive collective wasn’t trying to stir things up with such a trailer rings hollow. Why else use that kind of content? Does this mean IO Interactive didn’t want their upcoming game to be noticed? Of course not. The truth is more likely along these lines: If we knew the sexism cries would follow, we would’ve use different content in our Hitman: Absolution trailer.
But then again, perhaps they’re playing the “any press is good press” angle…