IO Interactive in a recent interview laid out details for their upcoming Hitman game. Hitman (2015) will be a reboot of the series and it will bring with it a return to the multi-layered sandbox levels series fans were left craving with Absolution‘s release. The new entry into the franchise is set to launch December 2015 on PC. Unlike any other Hitman game, this one, will roll out in stages.
Hannes Seifert, studio head at IO explains in his interview, “Everything we launch will be finished, polished and completed. When people hear Early Access they often think unfinished, unpolished and buggy. That’s the opposite [to what we’re doing].” The studio plans to release a core game in December. Then gauge fans reaction to early level layouts, difficulty, and other parameters and use this information on the remaining content packs. While in theory, this is what Early Access was intended to be; an early release title that essentially is fan beta tested using their suggestions, bug reports, and other information, for the developer to make changes as they see fit.
The dark side of early access has come from studios that simply abandon a game or who sit on their project for years leaving a bug filled labyrinth of frustration for those who bought in. Many gamers have been turned off from early access games because of the time wasters. IO is assuring fans that the additional content will role out in stages, will not cost anything additional, and there will be no micro-transactions. It appears IO Interactive is attempting something admirable with this staged roll out. If the theory holds true, each progressive chapter could be more engaging, thought provoking, and memorable than the last. Stay tuned for more information of this intriguing title.