Did you hear about IGN's "Grand Theft Auto IV" montage that exclusively featured clips of the game's lead character having sex and shooting the women he had sex with?
You won't see it on IGN any longer. The gaming giant says it messed up and is taking it down.
"IGN's goal is to show our users all aspects of popular games on the market," an IGN spokesperson just informed me by e-mail. "In this case, we crossed a line in how we portrayed some aspects of the game and we've taken this video down."
Yesterday, I discovered that IGN had made a video called "Ladies of Liberty City: Very Bad Things" that showcased just two elements "GTA" is notorious for and that some critics say is entirely what the game is about: sex and shooting women. This is how the video was teased on the site:
The video was a collection of "GTA IV" gameplay scenes. It starts with a montage of pole-dancing and lap-dancing. That's followed by the drive-by shooting of a woman, then a visit to a strip club.
Footage of an acrobatic lap-dance is immediately followed by a scene of the game's protagonist, Niko Bellic, gunning down a scantily-clad woman in the middle of the street.
Why would IGN make a video like that?
- Did they think sex and the killing of prostitutes is an excellent combination for a video?
- Did they not think that but think their audience would give a video like that a lot of hits?
- Were they simply reporting the facts?
- Were they being ironic? ("Enjoy" the working girls, indeed.)
- Or did something just go wrong?
I reached out this morning to a spokesperson for Fox, which owns IGN and, after several hours while the video remained online, was told it's now been removed.
IGN has made many other gameplay montages of "GTA," but this is one I didn't expect them to create. It already was making a poor impression (clips of the now-removed video can be seen at those links).
What do you think? Did IGN just do critics of the game a favor? Or was this pure "GTA" reflected back, warts and all?