Square Enix and IO Interactive have said that when players download Hitman on December 8th this year they will have access to a “sizable chunk” of the whole game, and their experience “will begin” at that point.
In 2016, the development team will introduce additional locations and missions until the game’s story is “done and finished”. All of this will be included in the game’s $60 price tag but what exactly you’re getting for your money is unconfirmed.
Square Enix was at pains to stress that Hitman is not an early access game.
“Early access can often mean something unfinished or unpolished,” the company commented in a new FAQ on the Hitman website. “That’s simply not the approach we’re taking. All of the content we release live to our players will be complete and polished, whether that’s the locations and missions we release on December 8th, the live events or the locations and missions that we will release in 2016. It will always be a polished Hitman experience.”
However, Square Enix doesn’t really the consider the game to be episodic either.
“We think the word ‘episodic’ sets up the expectation that we will sell individual content drops for individual prices but that’s not something we’re planning to do,” the publisher explained.
“That said, there are some episodic elements to the story in the sense that it’s delivered in chunks over time, so experiencing the story will probably feel episodic. But there is also a ton of other content including live events, which have nothing to do with the story. We’ll also be improving and changing the game constantly whilst you’re playing it. Our ambition is to have a stream of content available from December 8th until the story arc is finished.”
The new Hitman will be a title which “lives, grows and evolves” in time but you’ll never need to pay more than $60.
“That $60 includes everything we create in this story arc; from what we release on December 8th through to the end of the story arc in 2016 and all the live events too,” the company said. “There’s no micro-transactions or hidden costs in there. No extra paid DLC on top either. It’s one package, all-in for $60. We want that to be simple and clear and it was important for us to be up-front about that.”
Hitman will be released on a disc at some point in 2016 following its digital launch in December. The game was unveiled at E3 and is headed for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.