According to Square Enix and developer IO Interactive, the upcoming Hitman reboot is neither episodic or an early access game, but is instead a melange of the two. Wait, what?
Due to release for consoles and PC on December 8, Square is claiming that the game’s launch will only be the beginning, with plans to release regular content updates in the months after its arrival. What this mean is early adopters won’t necessarily get the full Hitman experience; instead, they’ll get “a sizeable chunk” of the assassination title, before additional locations and missions will be released to complete the story arc.
Now, before you grab your pitchfork, all of this content will be included for the $60/£45 price point, and this content plan merely represents a new approach from both developer and publisher. In a recent Q&A, Square cleared up a few lingering questions, and stressed that Hitman in no way resembles a Steam Early Access release.
“Early access can often mean something unfinished or unpolished,” the company said. “That’s simply not the approach we’re taking. All of the content we release live to our players will be complete and polished, whether that’s the locations and missions we release on December 8th, the live events or the locations and missions that we will release in 2016. It will always be a polished Hitman experience.”
For Square Enix, this is a reboot that will grow and evolve over time, with the publisher keeping one ear to the ground to ensure that community feedback remains a core component of the ongoing, atypical development process.
“We think the word ‘episodic’ sets up the expectation that we will sell individual content drops for individual prices but that’s not something we’re planning to do,” SE said.
“That said, there are some episodic elements to the story in the sense that it’s delivered in chunks over time, so experiencing the story will probably feel episodic. But there is also a ton of other content including live events, which have nothing to do with the story. We’ll also be improving and changing the game constantly whilst you’re playing it. Our ambition is to have a stream of content available from December 8th until the story arc is finished.”
Both Square Enix and Io Interactive are evidently gunning for a new approach with the Hitman reboot, but does it sound like something you’d be interested in when the title launches on December 8? Let us know down below.