Thursday, August 1, 2019

Hitman Video Game Facts

- Most of Hitman 2016 & Hitman 2 developers are from Absolution. Only a handful of developers from Silent Assassin and Contracts are left and none worked on Codename 47

- Absolution had a long development time (7 years) and was worked on when linear games were popular. After negative feedback they spent the last two years crunching to try and make the game more Hitman-like

- Reviews were overall good for Absolution but sales didn't meet expectations. What was a success was Contracts mode which had 50k daily players a year after launch. This is what inspired Hitman 2016's model

- Hitman 2016 was seen as the beginning of a new platform and was seen as 'Assassin Netflix' internally. The goal was to constantly update the game with new content by developing larger sandbox levels

- The goal of the episodic model was to bring a low barrier entry to get players in the door and then hope that the game good enough to get them to pay more. But instead people just overall were confused or sceptical. 80% of Episode 1 players paid the full $60. This was the opposite of what they had intended. The player base was nowhere near as high as anticipated

- There were also a large number of people who would rather wait until it was all done. But games also dropped in price quickly so those people were also happy to wait for a sale. The full release of Hitman 2016 was also a sales disappointment.

- Square-Enix had to sell off IO Interactive. Luckily the CEO was a fan of the series and developer and wanted to make sure they had a good home. Because Hitman and Freedom Fighters was made before Square-Enix's buyout IOI kept those franchises. Square-Enix still own Mini Ninjas and Kane and Lynch

- IO Interactive bought out their own independence. Unfortunately 40% of staff had to be laid off. Most of them moved onto Unity and Massive. Overall the company praised Square-Enix's support over the process. The event is called Sqexit in IOI

- Hitman 2 was only around 25% completed at this point. So a lot of that game had to be scaled back feature wise. Vermont and NZ was also scaled down to more medium levels with more systemic systems in place to make up for it. They also started making Hitman 2016 levels free to play which shot up the player base. They worked on extra content which generated more cashflow to finish Hitman 2 and keep the studio alive long enough to strike a deal with WB Games

- Luckily because World of Assassination was developed as games as service in mind they could work on levels quicker than usual for a sequel. They could also retroactively put in any engine improvements for original levels too. This gave them an advantage most developers would not have.

- Hitman 2 was developed in 1 year and 9 months by a team half the size of their Hitman 2016 team

- Hitman is going to be a trilogy and the 'World of Assassination' will have every single location from Paris to the final level of Hitman 3. IOI are also working on a new IP and they have opened up a new studio