Sony is at the centre of an animal cruelty dispute following an extravagant event to promote the launch of the PlayStation 2 (PS2) game, God of War II, where a live goat was decapitated.

Those attending the event were then invited to reach inside the stomach of the slaughtered creature to eat offal from its stomach, even challenging each other to see who could eat the most.

The company also put on knife throwing, snake pits and topless girls at the promotional event.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare was appalled at the slaughter of an animal being used to boost sales of the game and condemned the actions of the games’ company.

God of War II, a violent game featuring characters from Greek mythology and gruesome battle scenes, has been given an 18 certificate. To link in with the game’s Greek mythology link, the party was held last month in Athens.

Photographs from the gory scene were going to appear in the next issue of the official PS2 magazine tomorrow but the company is now recalling all of the 80,000 copies. However those who subscribe to the title have already received it in its original form.

This is not the first time Sony has been at the centre of controversy. In 2004 UK stores removed the game Manhunt from their shelves after it was linked to the murder of schoolboy Stefan Pakeerah.