Agent 47’s newest adventure will take several months before it reaches its conclusion.
Publisher Square Enix confirmed yesterday via press release that the upcoming reboot of the “Hitman” franchise, simply titled “Hitman,” will be released as several episodic missions.
“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.”
On March 11th, players will get access to a prologue mission and the Paris location, which is probably the one centered around a fashion show Eidos has been showing at press events.
In April, Eidos will release the Italy level with the Morocco level to follow in May. Three more locations are planned, including the U.S. and Thailand, with the game concluding in Japan later this year.
There will also be a disk version of the game shipping at the end of the year. The entire game can be bought for $60 or you can buy the first episode for $15 (with each subsequent one costing $10). There are also challenges weekly planned to keep players coming back to the game in between releases.
In a way, what Square Enix and Eidos are doing is modeling the release of Hitman around the Early Access format made popular on Steam, where players are allowed to play parts of the game before it is finished and receive monthly content updates until release. Rather than delaying the whole thing, the publisher is letting fans play along with the game and keep it in the global conversation for an entire calendar year. It also gives consumers the chance to try out the game at a low cost and decide if they want to keep buying content or drop it if they don’t like it. It is a risk for sure, but one that could heavily shift the way Triple A games are delivered to the market.