Hitman Absolution game director Tore Blystad has apologised for offending people with the game’s Attack of the Saints trailer, claiming that controversy was not his intention.

The trailer attracted widespread criticism for its sexualised violence.

“This has been a very big topic for us and we’ve been reading as much as we could of the articles and responses. We were surprised that it turned into such a huge topic. We just wanted to make something cool, it wasn’t the intention to stir up anything," said Blystad.

“We’re sorry that we offended people – that was truly not the intention of the trailer.”

Tellingly, Blystad said he knew exactly why people were upset, yet claimed that the reaction “really came as a big surprise to us”. He presumably placed air-quotes around that statement, winked, then grinned mischievously.

Perhaps context that the full game provided would make the content easier to swallow, he suggested.

“There are a lot of movie influences in Hitman Absolution, like Tarantino and Rodriguez. The grindhouse theme is something that we’re using throughout the game. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies – these were a fascination because they were so extreme."