Hitman is Now "A Fully Episodic AAA Game"

Lizzy Finnegan

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Hitman is Now "A Fully Episodic AAA Game"

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Square Enix and IO Interactive have revealed that Hitman is now going to be "fully episodic."

In a press release today, Square Enix and IO Interactive announced that the upcoming Hitman, still slated for a March 11 release, will be released as a "fully episodic AAA game experience." This news follows confusion yesterday where pre-orders were being abruptly cancelled [http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2016/01/13/hitman-pre-purchases-canceled-on-playstation-store-due-to-significant-configuration-changes.aspx].

"A change to the release structure, sees Hitman become a truly episodic AAA game experience, with a major live component," a press release reads. "Where players will perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world."

According to Hannes Seifert, Head of Studio at IO Interactive, the decision was made "to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a Hitman game," and to create a game that will "expand and evolve over time."

"We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience," Seifert said. "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."

According to the press release, a Prologue Mission and Paris location will release on March 11, with an Italy setting scheduled for April, and a Morocco location coming in May. After that, there will be "regular monthly updates," including the addition of Thailand, the US, and Japan, with "additional planned content" between the monthly updates. The first episode will cost $15, with each following episode costing $10 each - or you can purchase the whole game for $60.

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JCAll

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Oct 12, 2011
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Squeenix catching the episodic bug about a decade after Half-Life 2 Episode 3 killed all public trust in the format.
 

ShakerSilver

Professional Procrastinator
Nov 13, 2009
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First FFVII Remake and now this, huh? I guess Square Enix just really wants to split their games into chunks. The pricing seems ok, but I'm wondering if the total package will have a similar amount of content compared to other Hitman games. I'm also wondering FFVII remake will see the same pricing model.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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I don't understand, why is Square Enix specifically ruining the franchises I hold dear? Can't they just sell the IPs to someone that cares rather than steering them to ground?

I mean, they say that the whole game is $60, but this is weird. Maybe it'll be OK in this instance...?

This devalues the games to me. It makes me want to make sure I wait until I have all episodes in a package which will usually happen alongside some steep sale somewhere. I'm perfectly happy to buy a whole game at retail price but episodes kill that desire.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Lightknight said:
I don't understand, why is Square Enix specifically ruining the franchises I hold dear? Can't they just sell the IPs to someone that cares rather than steering them to ground?

I mean, they say that the whole game is $60, but this is weird. Maybe it'll be OK in this instance...?

This devalues the games to me. It makes me want to make sure I wait until I have all episodes in a package which will usually happen alongside some steep sale somewhere. I'm perfectly happy to buy a whole game at retail price but episodes kill that desire.
This. This is just a bad release model. Too much waiting means people (including me) are gonna start losing interest quickly.
 

LordLundar

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Apr 6, 2004
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Should we look at the track record for "Episodic AAA Game"?

Sin: We had Episode 1 and that was it.
Half life 2: Valve still hasn't learned to count to three yet.

And because other devs noticed that people aren't fond of the concept of a AAA title being pieced out ran away from the concept.
 

The Purple Grape

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Jun 5, 2015
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Well that's two Square Enix thanks, go for a hat trick now? And you did well with Deus Ex and that stupid pre-order deal.
 

The Real Sandman

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An Actual Person Saying Real Words said:
"We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience,"..."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.
You know, Hitman 2, Contracts, and Blood Money were all pretty good games that you didn't have to buy piece by piece. Maybe if you guys allocated your resources, budget, and manpower properly, you could probably make functioning and well designed singular final produ... oh, right. This is Sqare-Enix.

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.
 

suitepee7

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Dec 6, 2010
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So... just a longer wait until the full release then? I'll wait for the verdict on all the episodes then.
 

Dominic Crossman

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I refuse to play games released as episodes until the whole thing is out anyway so this has literally made no impact on how likely I am to get it.
 

Shoggoth2588

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Aug 31, 2009
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Awesome! I can't wait for 2017 or so when I can buy the complete game for less than $20! Or...you know, however many of the episodes have been completed up until that point. This could easily be another episodic game that is never finished. Since it's being released like this though I really don't think it should be considered a triple-A experience. A Triple-A experience should at least be complete after all.
 

sonicneedslovetoo

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Jul 6, 2015
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Well... its not good, but honestly its not as bad as I was expecting. Of course I was expecting 60$ per episode or something. Also I would like to note that they're releasing the episodes monthly so they obviously have some sort of plan rather than Valve's "We're doing episodes but not putting out a release schedule" thing.
 

thewatergamer

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Aug 4, 2012
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So pretty much you either spend 12$ or whatever and only get part of a game or you "buy" the game for 60$ and essentially pre-order the rest of it...great...call me when the whole game is done and I can buy it for 10-15$ on a steam sale and maybe I'll consider it guys
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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Huh, I guess Jim Sterling wasn't just joking when he said that Sqeenix has meetings discussing how they can chop their games up to sell to us in pieces.
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
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We learned a while ago episodic games are failures. Way to be behind the curve, AAA industry.
 

sXeth

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Sure this sounds fine on paper, but we've seen how it tends to go.

Too much delay between an episode and no one will care anymore. Unless you throw huge marketing alongside each episode to get attention back, which is a cost in itself. (Half Life)

One bad episode (which if they're going mission by mission, you're bound to it the trope of "THAT DAMN LEVEL" eventually) and no one will come back for the next one.

Writers getting shuffled around can create a mess of the overarching story, and bound to deliver a disappointing mess in whatever conclusion comes out, especially with anticipation built by more and more episodes. (Mass Effect 3?)

Neverending-story-itis. See Assassins Creed, they keep churning out more chapters, but the story is just a wibbly pile of stuff that happens and doesn't really resolve anywhere.
 

Wuvlycuddles

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Oct 29, 2009
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Given the nature of the Hitman series, I suspect this method of development will work in it's favour. I mean Absolution was an absolute disaster, save for a couple of levels they really lacked the depth and scope of the older Hitman games. I only hope they know what it is that made Hitman games fun, an episodic generic shootdudes game will be a massive failure I think.
 

fluxy100

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May 22, 2010
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You know, if any game was going to segmented into small packages for ease of consumption, Hitman may be the best series for it. The overarching story of the Hitman games has never been good and the main fun of the games has always been playing one mission over and over to perfect the assassination and finding new ways to kill your target. I can't count how many times I've replayed the Theater mission from Blood Money.

The only question is what Hitman are we getting? Cause I'd gladly plop down 15 dollars a month for two or three Hitman: Blood Money levels. But if we are getting Absolution level quality then they are going to have to give a lot more levels than that for 15 dollars.