Square Enix made headlines when they officially parted ways with Io Interactive, developers of the latest Hitman, putting the studio up for sale.
Fans hoping for Io Interactive to develop a second Hitman season received great news today. German outlet Gamestar reported Io will retain the rights to the franchise and are planning to produce a second season. News of the split came as a surprise to many after the critical success of Season 1 (Giant Bomb’s GOTY).
Season 2 is currently halfway through the development cycle, with a projected 2018 release. Io is looking for new investors to finish financing (Kickstarter?).
Square Enix ditching the developer may suggest poor sales but back in 2016, Hitman Creative Director Christian Elverdam said that although he couldn’t talk about sales “too much specifically” the studio was “pretty happy”.
About the game’s episodic nature, Elverdam said:
Again, I can’t be too specific. But in general, it’s been going on the entire season. One of the advantages of building a game that is live is that there are many entry points to jump into the game. Also we’re still continuing to release elusive targets and escalation contracts. I think we’ve managed to create a game with many starting points and I can also see that in how people buy it.” via playstationlifestyle.
If you haven’t tried Hitman yet I can highly recommend grabbing at least an episode (Paris and Sapienza are good starting points). I snagged the entire first season on sale and have been loving it. Most stealth games fall apart when the player is found, Hitman however, thrives on the wonderful chaos that ensues after first being discovered.
I’m personally quite happy to see the talented team get another shot at this iteration of the franchise and am curious to see what improvements they add in Season 2.