Hitman: Absolution isn’t the only game to contain a scene in which our protagonist frequents a strip club for the purpose of tracking a target. But unlike the other games, IO Interactive paid serious attention to detail by motion capturing a pole dancing competition and using the dancers’ moves in-game. IO Interactive has taken this attention to detail one step further: According to an anonymous source, they recently held their launch party in a strip club UPDATED faux nightclub warehouse with pole dancers (not strippers, as I had previously reported)
IO Interactive said, “We were all really excited to celebrate the global launch of Hitman Absolution yesterday. The private launch event was not held in a strip club. It was held at a warehouse. The venue was themed to represent various environments from our game and featured a barber shop for staff members to shave their heads like Agent 47, a library bar and there was a 10 minute show by two professional pole dancers (representing the games’ Vixen Club level) which contained no nudity and no stripping. It was an invite-only launch celebration that no one was forced to attend.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time a videogame company held a launch party better suited to the Mad Men era. The launch party for Catherine, which GamerZines had referred to as “extremely crude,” was also held in a strip club in London.
Although there are policies in the United States that prevent discrimination against gender in the workplace, there is no outright law that states, “It is unlawful to hold company events in topless bars.” In addition, IO Interactive is not an American company. However, many companies have codes of conduct that frown against anything that smacks of sexual harassment.
An HR professional in a Fortune 500 company, who wished to not be named, said, “I can’t believe companies are doing this. I can’t believe in this day and age that organizations would think this was acceptable. If I worked there, I’d lodge an ethics complaint and a harassment suit.”
The anonymous HR professional said, “If someone in my company wanted to hold this party, I’d say we have to remain professional, and we need to frequent businesses that our employees and the public feel comfortable attending. People should do this on their own time, not with a business.”
IO Interactive needs to consider that when they hold industry events such as these it makes the entire games industry look as if were populated by adolescent boys.
Hitman: Absolution is a good game with a few niggling issues and one major flaw: the group of female assassins called “the Saints.” The Saints, former strippers or prostitutes who dress to kill in latex and nun’s habits, are so over-the-top that a former stripper considered it bad for their image.
Game director Tore Blystad had apologized back in June for the Saints trailer, for what IGN had referred to as the “fetishistic portrayal of sexualised violence.”
In June, Blystad had said, “We’re sorry that we offended people – that was truly not the intention of the trailer.” But when you consider that five months later, IO Interactive’s private party had pole dancers, I’m fairly certain that Blystad has not understood what he was apologizing for.
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