A twisted video game featured on Apple and Android devices urged players to gun down journalists to make headlines before the level was yanked by developers.
Sniper 3D Assassin, which is available on iPads and cell phones, had a mission dubbed “Breaking News” in which a reporter was targeted alongside ruthless 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 armed with virtual sniper rifles. “The briefcase is full of sensitive documents. Make him famous in a different way.”
After the reporter is killed, text popped up declaring, “THAT’S A COVER STORY.”
Players embarked on the disturbing mission after they had already killed a gunman who slaughtered innocent people at a pizzeria and someone who stole a backpack, according to the paper.
The popular mobile game, which is developed by the Brazilian tech firm TFG, is rated 4 1/2 stars and has a combined 12 million reviews. It is available on iOS and Android.
“Take your sniper, aim and start shooting your enemies,” a description of the game reads.
But the video game scenario comes as attacks against journalists have skyrocketed in recent years — and after President Trump called journalists “the enemy of the people.”
First Amendment boosters were outraged by the violence-glorifying game.
“Well, this is horrifying,” one Twitter user said Saturday.
New York Times journalist Jamal Jordan tweeted that his nephew brought the game to his attention.
“My nephew is 10, and we had a very long talk after,” Jordan told the Huffington Post.
Michael Mac-Vicar, a rep for TFG, said the game was supposed to be a fun fantasy.
“Our game Sniper 3D Assassin is fictional and is intended for mature audiences,” 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.”
He added, “After listening to our community today, we have decided to remove the mission ‘Breaking News’ from the game.”
Apple and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment by The Washington Post.