Sony Computer Entertainment in Europe has apologized for using a decapitated goat as the centerpiece of a party in Greece to generate a buzz around the European launch of God Of War II, one of Sony's most popular video games for the PlayStation 2. The event was for journalists invited from a select group of video game publications but it quickly became a international story that sparked outrage from animal rights activists. "On this occasion we recognize that we fell short of our normal high standards of conduct and apologize for any offense caused. We are conducting an internal inquiry into the circumstances of the event in order to learn from the occurrence and put in place measures to ensure that this does not happen again."
In correspondence to the adult-only game, the party featured topless women dropping grapes into guests mouths and games that included throwing knives at a target and pulling live snakes from a pit with bare hands. A two-page spread of the party, featuring the goat, the women, and a male model dressed as the game's warrior hero Kratos, was to run in Sony's PlayStation magazine, scheduled to hit newsstands Tuesday. However, subscribers got copies earlier, which brought the event to the attention of animal rights activists and critics of video game violence causing parent company Sony Corporation to recall the entire 80,000-edition print run.
Dave Karraker, spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment in the United States said the animal was not slaughtered for the event, but was bought from a local butcher by the Greek company in charge of the party. The carcass was returned to the butcher after the event. Nick Sharples, the head of Sony public relations in Europe, did not know about the party plans. Sony was investigating who in the company approved the festivities, Karraker said.
News source: InformationWeek