Square Enix has confirmed that it is to transition its Hitman franchise, obtained during its acquisition of Eidos, to an episodic format beginning with a release on the 11th of March.
The long running bald-assassin simulator series, which has included a number of games, a turn-based mobile outing, and even a pair of critically-panned live-action films, has long had its bloodthirsty fans - but recent outings have been perceived to have dipped in quality compared to its original incarnations. The solution, developer IO Interactive and publisher Square Enix have decided, is to stop releasing games as a finished article and instead switch to an episodic model which will see missions for the game released over a period of time.
'We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience,' explained IO Interactive's head of studio Hannes Seifert of the move. '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.'
The franchise's new episodic format will debut with the release of two missions, one acting as a prologue and the other starting the action in Paris, on the 11th of March. This will be followed by the release of a mission set in Italy in April, Morocco in May, and monthly releases thereafter which will span the globe from Thailand and Japan to the US.
Other aspects of the release, including supported platforms, have not changed as a result of the decision to switch to an episodic format.