When IO Interactive and Square Enix first revealed its latest stab at Hitman would follow a fully-episodic release schedule it raised a few eyebrows. For the most part it seemed to work—each episode was by and large well received—yet this staggered launch pattern was nevertheless divisive. When IO gained full control of the Hitman name last month it failed to say whether or not the so-called fully-episodic release schedule would remain.
IO has now revealed its 16th consecutive monthly roadmap that outlines a new Escalation Contract in Sapienza, comprised of three targets and named The Hamartia Compulsion, as well as a "fresh batch" of 15 Featured Contracts. A game update is also expected to land later this month.
"15 new Featured Contracts will be added to the game on July 7 and this week’s featured contract creators are: Quinez, Spodeq, AGENT4T7, BernardoOne, Euler 13, Gule, Pagan, GKPunk, Urben, Ed ll3, Niobium, immadummee, Silverballer, SnakeGun and Mendietinha," reads an update post. "Our July content will be released over a few different dates."
The post continues: "This month is a bit special because it brings the final Elusive Target for Season One. The final Elusive Target for Season One will arrive later in the month and will be on the Marrakesh Bonus mission; A House Built on Sand. As the contract is in Marrakesh, you’ll unlock the Summer Suit with Gloves if this is the first ET you complete in Marrakesh.
"Equally, if you earn your first SA rating for this ET, you’ll unlock the Terminus Suit. Check the challenges in-game to see what suits you can still unlock through Elusive Targets, all depending on how many of the previous Elusive Targets you’ve completed."
Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but the fact that a now independent IO refers to the closure of Season One in this way suggests to me a Season Two could be close to follow. Perhaps it's simply to avoid confusion, and that people are familiar with a compartmentalised Season One as it stands, however if the fully-episodic release format has been instead scrapped, why not refer to the latest incoming Elusive Target as simply the "new" or "latest" entry?
Again, until confirmed either way this is conjecture on my part. I have however reached out to IO themselves and will report back as and when they reply.