Square Enix is already embracing the episodic/multi-part release format with Hitman and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and according to Io-Interactive Studio Head Hans Seifert, many other big games will follow suit.
As Seifert told Ars Technica in a recent interview, he knows the episodic nature of Hitman is controversial:
We want to create a platform for Hitman and I know that that’s controversial. A lot of people have said: ‘why don’t you wait to ship the game?’ My answer to that is that we are shipping the game at the end of the season. So, if you’re a traditional player, you can buy it on a disc at the end of 2016, if that’s what you want. No one is stopping you doing that, but why should the people that want to come on the journey with us have to wait for all that time to pass?
Later in the interview, Seifert talked about how many other AAA titles will follow the episodic format, noting that it’s not for every game:
I know we are breaking new ground here and it’s the first time that a triple-A game of this magnitude has decided to do something like this. I sincerely think that it would be good for many games to do something similar, and many will follow in future. But I’m also convinced that it’s not for every game. You need to have a game that makes sense within this kind of approach. If you’ve got something that is extremely story driven and very linear then this isn’t a model that you would consider, maybe. If you have something more interesting in terms of being able to be played as a toy, and is very replayable and perhaps mission based, then it could work and I think there are quite a few games out there that I could see fitting it really well.
Although the announcement to make Hitman a “fully episodic AAA game” didn’t happen until last month, Io-Interactive has been talking about it since they finished Hitman: Absolution in 2012. Thanks to the new model, Seifert says they’ll be able to make improvements easier than before.
Also, by spending $60 on day one, you’ll get everything in season one. “We will not have micro-transactions and we will not have additional DLC,” Seifert said. “The whole of season one is a $60 offering, but there are different ways to buy that.”