IO Interactive, the developer of the “World of Assassination” Hitman trilogy that began in 2016, has been happy to tease there’s more in store for the series in the future.
While Hitman 3, released earlier this month on Jan. 20, marks the end of the trilogy, it doesn’t mark the end of Hitman. Executive producer Forest Swartout Large told The Gamer that the team is working on Agent 47’s next adventures. “We’re continuously working on Hitman so we are already looking to the future,” Large said.
This will of course come in the form of post-launch patches and content for Hitman 3. “We are definitely going to be doing some DLC, but we haven’t defined what that is,” he elaborated. “I think for now we are not looking at new maps like the bank and the island. We’re more looking at using existing locations and reimagining them, twisting them. And this time around, we can use the whole trilogy. We can look back at Hitman 2016 maps, Hitman 2 maps — we have all the locations.”
But it’s also a strong implication that Agent 47 will embark on new adventures someday. He’ll get his time to continue to shine — along with James Bond. In Nov. 2020, IO Interactive revealed Project 007: a game about Bond’s earliest days of being a spy. While not much is known of it, we do know that IO Interactive is expanding and letting another team take charge of that game.
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Only a week after Hitman 3′s release, IO Interactive announced that the game is already profitable, having recuperated all its development costs.
“We have been really happy with the Hitman 3 journey,” said IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “It has been a labor of love between our fans and everyone at the studio. As the developer and publisher, we are immensely proud that we can say Hitman 3 is already profitable. We have recouped the total project costs in less than a week. That puts us in a really good place and allows us to confidently move forward with our ambitious plans for future projects.”
By this point, IO Interactive had already revealed Hitman 3 is the biggest digital launch in the franchise’s history. Hitman 3 is IO Interactive’s first self-published game. The company has been owned by Square Enix since 2009. The last game Square Enix published for the studio was the 2016 Hitman, the first game in the “World of Assassination” trilogy. After the two companies parted ways, Hitman 2 was published by Warner Bros. Then in 2017, a management buyout granted the studio its independence. Although it’s been a bit of a rocky road, Abrak says the new-found independence has allowed the development, PR, and marketing teams to work closely, which has only benefitted the game.
“We’ve been able to create a game that our players will love and bring it to them in the most direct way possible; developed and published by IOI,” he says. “Having that focus early on has kept us on a path that we all believed in. Everyone at the studio was behind the vision for the game and they know the Hitman universe better than anyone.”
As a publisher, he feels IO Interactive has been very effective in creating a quality product. Given Hitman 3′s success in the small window since its launch, it’s hard to see it any other way.
“We demand of each other that our games are hand-crafted, meticulously detailed and unique,” he explains. “At this point, we’d be doing our community a disservice if we delivered anything less than that. They’re used to us setting a really high bar for quality and memorable experiences, so we keep that mentality at the front of our mind, not only for Hitman but also our future projects.”