A popular violent mobile video game that featured a disturbing mission to shoot and kill journalists came under fire after the level was discovered by a New York Times reporter. The game's developer has since pulled the level.
"My nephew let me play an iPad shooting game with him. He chose the mission: It's called 'Breaking News,' and the objective is to shoot a journalist who just received documents from a police officer," Jamal Jordan tweeted on Saturday.
"The goal is to make the journalist 'famous in a different way,'" Jordan said.
The Brazilian tech firm TFG developed the game called, "Sniper 3D Assassin." It has more than 12 million combined reviews on iOS and Android and a rating of 4 1/2 stars. It was released in 2014.
What are the details?
The mission called, "Breaking News," was part of the popular game, "Sniper 3D Assassin," which is available as a free download on iOs and Android devices. It's also available through Amazon, Google and Microsoft apps, according to HuffPost.
"My nephew is 10, and we had a very long talk after," Jordan told HuffPost.
"Breaking News" featured a reporter who was targeted by snipers alongside the game's murderers and thieves, according to the Washington Post.
"A journalist bribed a cop and will pick up a briefcase from the cop," the game told players. "The briefcase is full of sensitive documents. Make him famous in a different way."
The mission begins with the sound of a gun cocking. Through the scope of the rifle, the player can see a police officer holding a red briefcase and approaching a journalist in a yellow hat, according to the HuffPost's description of the mission. "Crosshairs move to the head of the journalist. As the player fires, a slow-motion bullet strikes the journalist in the head, spilling blood."
"THAT'S A COVER STORY," popped in all caps after the reporter was murdered.
What did the game developer say?
A TFG spokesman told HuffPost that the game was intended for mature audiences.
"Our game Sniper 3D Assassin is fictional and is intended for mature audiences," Michael Mac-Vicar told HuffPost. "We work to create games that bring fun and entertainment to users all around the world. As such, we take feedback from our players very seriously.
"After listening to our community today, we have decided to remove the mission 'Breaking News' from the game," he added.