Last September, the team at IO Interactive talked about how it would release the new Hitman game. With less than two months to go until release, the developers once again changed their strategy: Hitman will come out as an episodic game.
The original plan was to release an Intro Pack when the game comes out on March 11. This would include three large maps (Paris, France; Sapienza, Italy; and Marrakesh, Morocco), six campaign missions, Contracts Mode and weekly content. The new Intro Pack will include only the Prologue and Paris missions. The Sapienza map comes out in April, and the Marrakesh map arrives in May. After that, the team will release the other three maps (Thailand, United States and Japan), one per month, until the end of the first season in late 2016. In addition, it seems the Contracts Mode and weekly content will be available from the beginning, so you’ll have something to do while you wait for the next batch of content.
According to the developers, the reason for the change in approach is to make is so that it makes it easier for them to respond to feedback as well make changes to the game based on player actions. The hope is that the data will not only allow them to create a story that weaves into future titles, but to also create smaller missions and encounters that will take place only in a single game.
“This initial game release will help us build the foundation for where we want to take HITMAN. The first game is part one of a storyline we see expanding over the release of subsequent games - so we want to make absolutely sure we get things right for what will be a great Hitman experience expanding over the coming years.”
The change in how the content is released also means a change in pricing. The new Intro Pack will cost $15. Each new map after that will cost an additional $10 each. However, if you want to buy the rest of the game after the Intro Pack, it will cost you $50. Of course, you can buy the game in full for $60 when it launches, or you can wait until the end of the year when the entire season will be available on one disc. The team also announced a collector’s edition of the game in a special box which includes the full game, a 60-page hardcover art book, the iconic red tie (in addition to a clip) and a 10-inch statue of Agent 47.