License Hitman is closely associated with IO Interactive. The Danish studio has been working on the series for more than twenty years, each time trying to refine its formula. And even if the developers made other titles – the Kane & Lynch games or even Mini Ninjas – productions with Agent 47 make up the bulk of their catalog. So on January 20th Hitman 3 marks the end of the “World Assassination” trilogy, which began in 2016 with a fresh start in episodic format. And it’s not without emotion that the studio decided to move away from the famous franchise for a while.
A license that is running out of steam?
It must be said that in recent years Hitman tried hard to convince investors and the public. Worse still, the commercial failure of the Opus released in 2016, particularly due to its episodic format modeled after Telltale productions, will have led to the split between IO Interactive and Square Enix. The Japanese publisher just couldn’t believe it anymore. Hakan Abrak, president and co-owner of the studio, addressed these two points in the columns of Game informer
We called the strategy the “Trojan Horse” because the goal was to attract the players and, if they were convinced, move on. We thought we could have a really big audience first and hoped to keep that audience if the game is fun. That was the strategy. Skepticism and “what the hell is that?” Ask. and “Is this an early entry from a major publisher?” led to historically low sales – a historically low time to market.
And over time, even our current publisher – and owner – lost hope.
In fact, Square Enix split from IOI in May 2017 as part of a reorganization of its resources in the main franchises and studios. The Japanese publisher’s shares are bought by members of top management, including Hakan Abrak. The Danish studio becomes completely independent for the first time in its history and retains the license rights Hitman. The developers couldn’t imagine the idea of parting with the franchise, so much is the latter tied to its history. Since then, thanks to several updates and adaptations, the first two episodes of the trilogy (2016 and 2018) have been played by more than 40 million players – games that have integrated Xbox Game Pass, PS Now and were offered This is not a sales figure.
Hitman III or the turning point in the history of IO Interactive
The third installment of Agent 47’s adventures in the World Assassination trilogy marks a turning point in the history of IOI. Hitman 3 will be both the studio’s first self-released game and the last – temporarily – licensed. It is full of emotion that Forest Swartout, executive producer of the title, spoke to on the microphone GameInformer ::
In my eyes, nostalgia is not about stopping developing the game because it will live and be lived and people will play it. Rather, it has to do with the privilege of working on this third iteration with such a talented group, really great people, who value their work so much.
once Hitman 3 Finally, the Danish developers will work on one of the most famous franchises in the world: James Bond. Last November, IOI announced that it had acquired the usage rights to develop an “origin story” of the famous 007 agent. According to Hakan Abrak, this is an excellent way to break something away from the studio’s image that doesn’t know is doing the game Hitman
Hitman and IO Interactive are obviously very, very connected. But I think in the future IO Interactive should not necessarily be called “IO Interactive, the studio behind Hitman”, but first and foremost, people should see IO Interactive as one entity, the creators of which are different IPs and places of creativity where Hitman obviously is one of our creations, but there will be other creations in the future. And one of them is 007.
However, it is important to state thisIt’s not about abolishing the Hitman licensefar from there. Christian Elverdam, creative director and co-owner of the studio, added a few nuances and explained that the series restart from 2016 was intended as a trilogy, interrupted by Hitman 3. The developers aren’t ruling out other episodes in the future, but given the various events that have taken place over the past few years, the studio would like to move away from the license a bit.
Remember that the continuation of the Agent 47 attacks will continue on January 20, 2021 on Xbox One and Series X | S, PC, Playstation and Switch consoles will be released while you wait for more information on the next productions from IOI.