Hitman Dev Reflects on Episodic Launch: “There Was a Lot of Skepticism”

January 30, 2017Written by Michael Briers


To prepare for the physical release of Hitman – The Complete First Season, Square Enix and IO Interactive have detailed the game’s imminent January update.

Due to go live tomorrow, January 31, the patch will weigh in at 1.8GB on PS4 (8.1GB on Xbox One, 2GB on PC) and herald the arrival of a new difficulty level, HDR support and many features or improvements that were requested by the Hitman community. Full details of the January update, along with general technical improvements, can be found below.

In related news, MCV UK caught up with Christian Elverdam, Creative Director at IO Interactive, to discuss the future of Hitman. But first, Elverdam began by remembering the moment when IO announced plans to go episodic.

“We knew that doing this was likely to raise some eyebrows, both from our fans and from the gaming community as a whole. We expected that it would be up to us to prove why we thought an episodic format would work well for the sandbox-levels.”

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, Elverdam concedes that “there was a lot of skepticism, which we expected, as we were doing something new.”

“I think it’s natural that some players were thinking ‘Will this work?’ or ‘Will it be delayed?’ and we proved that we have a good way of doing things. And I really love that people actually see the game for what it is. That was the major reason for doing the things we’re doing. How can we get people to appreciate a classic Hitman sandbox? Being episodic, where you spend time getting to know a location, really get under the skin of it, that’s the best way to appreciate the depth in a game like Hitman. So I would say we have proven our case. I also want to underline that if you prefer all the content at once, which I think many players do, we always said that you should jump in when the season concludes. We will still continue with a lot of activities, not least the Elusive Targets that have become extremely popular.”

Here’s an overview of Hitman‘s January update, which is expected to go live at approximately 12:00 UTC.

January Update Release Notes

Bonus Mission: Landslide Overview
New Bonus Mission: Landslide (Sapienza)
5 new Guided Opportunities for “Landslide”
1 new weapon/gear unlock (earned through challenges)
– The Big One
35+ Landslide-specific challenges
3 new trophies/achievements for Landslide
For details of the two other Bonus Missions, first released in July 2016, see the release notes.

General Improvements

Professional Difficulty Level
We’ve added an entirely new difficulty level: Professional.
Professional Difficulty Level offers extended replayability, new game features, a separate mastery track with unique rewards, tweaked game mechanics and new AI behaviour that combine to create an entirely new experience for all players. For full details on this exciting new addition, take a look at our dedicated blog post.

[Sources: MCV UK, IO Interactive]