Square Enix, or Squeenix as they are sometimes called, announced today that the new Hitman game, which was previously going to be a full game with additional content updates, but not “episodic,” would now be episodic. I guess they were tired of skirting around the idea, and decided to simply embrace it. After the success of Life is Strange, Square Enix must be wondering if they can make all their games episodic.
The actual details seem like a interesting way to go about making a AAA game.
Starting with a Prologue Mission and a Paris location on March 11th, followed by the next location, set in Italy releasing in April and then Morocco releasing in May. From there HITMAN will deliver regular monthly content updates, including three additional locations; Thailand, the US and Japan until the season concludes in Japan later in 2016. With weekly live events and additional planned content in between the monthly updates.
Apparently, Io-interactive, the team behind the Hitman franchise, actually did embrace this change. It might’ve even been their idea!
“We decided to take the full leap and publish HITMAN as a truly episodic game experience,” said Hannes Seifert, Head of Studio at Io-Interactive. “Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a HITMAN game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future – this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”
The Intro Pack, containing the Prologue and Paris missions launches in March for $15. All further episodes will be $10. The entire kit and caboodle will run you, unsurprisingly, $60, and upgrading the Intro Pack to the full version will be $50. A disc version will launch at the end of 2016.
The press release goes on to detail the Playstation’s exclusive content, naturally, and makes sure to let you know that by pre-purchasing the Intro Pack or Full Experience, you can gain access to the game’s beta in February, naturally.
I know a lot of patient gamers out there will wait until the disc version and buy the entire thing, which is all well and good, but I for one have always like the concept of live gaming – when executed well. It’s one of the things that draws me to MMOs, and Io-interactive seem on board for the idea, too. So this might turn out pretty rad, a term I don’t use lightly.
Does this mean we’ll see a season 2 of Hitman, using the exact same framework? I guess if all this goes well for Squeenix and Io-interactive, we very well might.
Till then, check back here for all Hitman updates.