Next Hitman Game Cancelled, Franchise Still Alive at IO Interactive
UPDATE: A representative from Square Enix told Polygon that a new Hitman game is in development at IO Interactive and not at Square Enix Montreal. The rep said:
“Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise. We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year.”
Yes, there will be another installment in the Hitman franchise. But no, the next chapter in the bald, bar-coded one’s adventure won’t be coming from Square Enix Montreal.
While IO Interactive was hard at work on Hitman: Absolution in 2011, Square announced that its startup Montreal studio’s first project would also be a next gen Hitman game. The plan, it seemed, was to have two studios working on the franchise simultaneously to deliver annual installments, similar to Infinity Ward and Treyarch on Call of Duty.
That plan is evidently no longer in the cards (likely for the better). Videogamer spotted the updated LinkedIn profile (upgraded membership required) of Square Enix Montreal Senior Game Designer Richard Knight, whose CV states the Hitman game was cancelled in 2013.
Square Enix has never formally announced the death of the project, but given the massive restructuring Square underwent in 2013 following lower than anticipated sales of both Tomb Raider and, in particular, Hitman: Absolution, it’s not surprising.
Again, this does not mean the end for Hitman. As news of the cancelled game began to circulate this morning, IO Interactive Content Manager Travis Barbour took to Twitter to clarify that the Hitman franchise as a whole is still alive and kicking:
@davescook Hey Dave! Seems to be some confusion in your comments about the Hitman series as a whole being cancelled, which isn’t the case…
— Travis_ (@IO_Travis) January 6, 2014