Hannes Seifert, Studio Head at IO Interactive, has conceded that the developer’s back-and-forth over Hitman‘s launch plans may have caused confusion, and apologized for detouring from the original vision.
In an interview with VideoGamer, the executive was quizzed about IO’s episodic release schedule for the hotly-anticipated stealth reboot, which will debut exactly one month from today heralding one location and the prologue mission, before extra content is rolled out shortly thereafter.
“So we had this [plan] pretty early, and then of course the market also had to evolve in a certain way for it to make complete sense. After all, [Hitman] is a AAA game, it needs its audience, it needs its target market, and it comes with a lot of expectations after 15 years of games.
“All of these things combined I think made us detour from our original vision a few times, and now we’ve landed back on it. This detouring caused some of the confusion that I’m personally really sorry for. I think we should have stuck to our guns longer, although it’s controversial, but now we’ve ended up on what absolutely feels right. The game is written in a way that it’s episodic, the gameplay itself is that, and our technological platform to allow us to actually make the game better is built for that.”
Seifert went on to acknowledge the backlash directed at the revised approach, which would have seen Hitman launch as a fully-fledged package. IO Interactive embraced the episodic blueprint, likening the atypical approach to a serialized TV show. Once all the content has launched, a retail version of the game will land in the latter stages of 2016.
“For the people, I understand, it should be scrutinised, people should have strong opinions about it,” Seifert continued. “But I also want to put out there, people that asked us to delay the game, they can just buy it when the season’s over. They will get their fill for $60. Everything that’s not temporary live content will be available at that point in time, but we don’t want to make people who want to try [it] earlier, making it better and making this experience… why should they wait?”
Hitman is poised to host a beta test for PlayStation 4 and PC, with the testing due to debut on the former platform first tomorrow, February 12. Xbox One players may not get the chance to partake in the beta, though the full game will launch for Microsoft’s hardware and the two aforementioned systems on March 11.