So Hitman: Absolution has been out for what, 53 seconds*? That hasn’t stopped publisher Square Enix from talking about the next game in the series. IO Interactive, the team who has been behind Agent 47 since he first reared his bald and barcoded head, will not be making the next game. Instead, development of the next Hitman game has been handed over to Square Enix Montreal.
Talking to website OPM, Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad has likened this move to what Activision does with the Call of Duty series: splitting development duties between Treyarch and Infinity Ward. Whether this means the Hitman series is about to become annualised was not mentioned. “It’s like with Treyarch and Infinity Ward. You have an IP that has been developed. They will feed off each other, as well as somethings that stand out,” Blystad explained, “I think with these big franchises it takes a long time to develop just one game. If you can, work a little bit in parallel at least and help each other out”.
This is the first time that the series “has gone out of house” but it hasn’t been given to a group that’s never had experience with the franchise. Many members of the team at Square Enix Montreal are from IO Interactive and have had experience working in the earlier Hitman games. As for IO Interactive, they’ve all moved on to an as yet unannounced new project.
*alright, it’s been out for three days (20 November)