Square Enix and Io-Interactive have officially confirmed the next Hitman game will be entirely episodic. Announced at last year’s E3, Hitman promised a living, growing world with a vague release structure, leaving many gamers confused, and just as many worried. Doing away with that confusion however, Io has decided a full episodic structure is for the better and they’ve detailed exactly how things will roll out.
The content originally included in the core game, The Prologue and the first three locations, will now be spread out through May. Releasing on the already announced release date, March 11th, the Intro Pack will include The Prologue and Paris location for $15. Then, for $10 each, the episodic content continues with the Italy location releasing in April, and the Morocco location releasing in May.
From there, the last three locations, Thailand, the US, and Japan, will release throughout 2016, the “season concluding with Japan.” Along with these, Io promises “weekly live events and additional planned content in between the monthly updates.” All together, the six episodes total $65. If players are bold enough to simply buy it all upfront, Io is offering the Full Experience, including all six episodes and any additional content, for $60. A disc retail version of the full season will then ship at the end of 2016.
Speaking of the new structure, “We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience,” Hannes Seifert, Head of Studio at Io-Interactive, explained. “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.”
Seeing as Io is referring to these six episodes as a season, it’s not a far reach to expect the future Hitman games Seifert is referring to, to in fact be future seasons, especially if they continue the same story.
The same press release also detailed the PS4 exclusive content, The Sarajevo Six, six bonus contracts that will release one per episode. Each one “sees Agent 47 travel the world in pursuit of six former members of a paramilitary unit called CICADA in this self-contained side-story.”
A beta is planned for PS4 and PC players as well. Starting Febuary 12th for PS4 and Febuary 19th for PC, beta spots will go to any that pre-order either the Intro Pack or the Full Experience.
And finally, a Collector’s Edition was also announced. For $140, the Collector’s Edition includes a digital copy of the Full Experience, a 10in. statue of Agent 47, a red tie and tie clip, and an art book.
What do you think of the new release structure? Are you excited about what sounds to be a full year of Hitman? Let us know in the comments.