IO Interactive switches their upcoming action-adventure stealth video game, Hitman to a fully episodic release structure. The game was previously announced to launch with three locations & six campaign missions and now it will start off 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.
IO Interactive: This year will be a defining year for Io-Interactive and Agent 47. This is the year when you’ll finally be able to play the new HITMAN. In the spirit of the New Year, we’d like to give everyone a deeper insight into how work is progressing on the game and also share some more information about what’s to be expected in 2016.
Staying true to the vision
At the end of 2015 we saw a lot of great progress and the game now feels like a genuine Hitman experience. The game is shaping up really well and the release is just two months away, plus the Beta is set to hit next month on February 12.
Now, we’ve always said we won’t put anything out until it’s ready. That means what we release has to hit the quality level you have come to expect from a HITMAN game. To ensure that level of quality, we made a big decision on how we’re releasing HITMAN. After a lot of consideration, we decided to take the full leap and publish HITMAN as a truly episodic game experience with a major live component. It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we fully acknowledge that the decision may frustrate some players. But it is a shift that we believe will ensure the best possible foundation for this game and the future of HITMAN.
The future of HITMAN
The exciting thing about going episodic is that this format allows us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time. This initial game release will help us build the foundation for where we want to take HITMAN. The first game is part one of a storyline we see expanding over the release of subsequent games - so we want to make absolutely sure we get things right for what will be a great Hitman experience expanding over the coming years. This first step is going to shape what the games will ultimately become.
As we’ve said before, we want to shape the game with the people playing it and by going down this route we believe we’re creating the best possible base for success. We will be able to respond much faster to feedback, analyse player behaviour and implement changes on a regular basis that simply wasn’t possible before. We’ll be able to craft a long story arc that spans multiple games while at the same time crafting smaller arcs and stories that will find their conclusions within each game. We will get the chance to craft missions and revisit locations in ways that we’ve never been able to do before.
How will this work?
HITMAN will still launch on March 11th and that initial launch will include the Prologue and the Paris location.
The big change is that the next location, set in Italy, will now release in April and then Morocco will release in May. From there we will keep monthly content updates coming, including the three additional locations we have already announced; Thailand, the US and Japan until the season concludes in Japan later in 2016. The weekly live events and additional planned content will give you plenty to do in the time between location releases.
The new Intro Pack, which includes Prologue and Paris will be priced at $15. Each subsequent location can be purchased for $10 as an add-on item after you buy the new Intro Pack. If you buy the Intro Pack and want to get into everything the Full Experience offers, you can also choose to buy the Upgrade Pack for $50. This will give you access to all of the content released after March 11th and guarantees you won’t miss any live or bonus content.
Of course you can still buy the Full Experience which is the complete first season, so all the content this year as it’s released, up front for $60 as always promised. Whether you purchase the complete game or buy each episode individually, we want to remind the community that there will be no micro transactions in HITMAN.
If you prefer to wait we will also ship the complete season on a disc at the end of 2016.
In less than a month, on February 12, the HITMAN beta will arrive first on PlayStation 4 and a week later for PC.