Electronics giant Sony has sparked a major row over animal cruelty and the ethics of the computer industry by using a freshly slaughtered goat to promote a violent video game. The corpse of the decapitated animal was the centrepiece of a party to celebrate the launch of the God Of War II game for the company's PlayStation 2 console. Guests at the event were even invited to reach inside the goat's still-warm carcass to eat offal from its stomach. Sickening images of the party have appeared in the company's official PlayStation magazine – but after being contacted by The Mail on Sunday, Sony issued an apology for the gruesome stunt and promised to recall the entire print run.
Critics condemned the entertainment giant, which produces scores of Hollywood blockbusters each year, for its "blood lust" and said the grotesque "sacrifice" highlighted increasing concerns over the content of video games and the lengths to which the industry will go to exploit youngsters. At the event, guests competed to see who could eat the most offal – procured elsewhere and intended to resemble the goat's intestines – from its stomach. They also threw knives at targets and pulled live snakes from a pit with their bare hands. Topless girls added to the louche atmosphere by dipping grapes into guests' mouths, while a male model portraying Kratos, the game's warrior hero, handed out garlands.