Hitman is 'a little bit on hiatus' as IO Interactive focuses on James Bond and its new fantasy RPG

Agent 47 channels James Bond
(Image credit: IO Interactive)

Hitman has been around for more than 20 years now, during which time some entries have been markedly better than others. But it's arguable that the series truly hit its stride with the 2016 reboot, which culminated in a brilliantly good trilogy and eventually into an all-encompassing package called Hitman: World of Assassination. Unfortunately for fans, we now know there won't be any new adventures for Agent 47 for a good while to come. 

You may have forgotten (I did) but Hitman developer IO Interactive is currently working on a James Bond game. That's a pretty big license, and IO's success with Hitman over the past half-decade has expectations high—and so understandably, that's where the studio's attention is focused.

"Right now a major, major new Hitman game: that's a little bit on hiatus, as we're building another agent fantasy that's also taking up a lot of our time." IO Interactive chief creative officer Christian Elverdam said in an interview with Eurogamer, making an obvious reference to James Bond. "But obviously we'll come back to beloved Agent 47. He's still very much in the heart of this company."

The good news for fans is that World of Assassination, which was recently upgraded with the roguelike Freelancer game mode, will continue to be expanded.

"I hope we can have our cake and eat it too, in the sense that we have such a wonderful platform where we can keep experimenting with what the formula can do and what people expect of it," Elverdam said. "And then at some point, obviously, as any creative, it would be nice to then go in and say, 'Okay, well, with everything we've learned, what would that be if we had to re-articulate a sandbox—what would that look like?'"

We still don't know anything of substance about IO Interactive's 007 games, except that it will be a "wholly original" story detailing James Bond's origin—maybe (and this is purely speculation) it'll explore the story behind the British assassin's first kill. And that's not the only thing IO has cooking: The studio announced in February that it's also working on an "online fantasy RPG," too. (Hopefully they'll both be better than IO's last non-Hitman outing, the fun-but-not-good Kane and Lynch games.) Successful videogame series never really die, but given how full IO's hands are right now, it's understandable that Agent 47 is being given a little time off.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.