Revealing why pre-orders were cancelled yesterday, Square Enix and Io-Interactive announced today that Hitman for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC is “now a fully episodic AAA game.”
Still releasing on March 11, Hitman will start with a Prologue Mission and a Paris location on launch day. Then, you’ll see the Italy location in April, with the Morocco location in May. After that, there will be regular monthly content updates, including three additional locations – Thailand, the US, and Japan – with the season concluding later in 2016 in Japan.
Hitman also includes a “major live component,” where you’ll be able to perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in locations around the world, with additional content planned to release in between the monthly updates.
For pricing (all in USD), the Intro Pack with the Prologue and Paris levels will cost $15, with each subsequent location priced at $10 as an add-on to the Intro Pack. You can also buy the Full Experience at launch for $60, and it includes “all of this year’s content as it’s released, and guarantees them not to miss any live or bonus content.”
If you purchase the Intro Pack and then decide you want the Full Experience, the Upgrade Pack add-on will be $50.
A disc version of Hitman with the season’s content will be available at the end of 2016.
Io-Interactive Studio Head Hannes Seifert talked about the change and how this storyline will continue in future Hitman games:
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. 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.
As for the The Sarajevo Six bonus contracts exclusive to PS4, one will be released with each location. This side-story sees Agent 47 traveling the world in pursuit of six former members of a paramilitary unit called CICADA.
If you want to play Hitman before launch, the PS4 beta starts on February 12, with PC following on February 19. Beta access is guaranteed with a pre-order of the Full Experience or Intro Pack.
What do you think of the change?