Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 was not an overly positive experience for CI Games. It was delayed twice and suffered from pronounced technical issues when it launched, leading the studio to admit a couple of months later that it was "just too ambitious" for a relatively small development team working under tight deadlines.
The stumble won't spell the end of the series, but it will result in some big changes in the next game, which was announced today as Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts. (The colon has apparently been dropped, although we'll see how that works out as it approaches a more clearly-defined state of existence.) The open-world design is gone, and instead players will take on "tailor-made contract missions that offer a clear main objective with a fixed monetary reward." Completing secondary objectives will earn bonus payouts, and contracts can be repeated for better payouts—if you do a better job.
"We were too ambitious in terms of the scope of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, but we’ve learned from our missteps," CI Games CEO Marek Tymiński said. "Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts will be more focused on emergent gameplay with an open-ended mission design that the team feels strong about, but it will not be set in an open world. It is going to be a more tactical, more condensed experience and the game will offer plenty of replayability, both on the single player campaign and on the multiplayer modes."
Those ugly technical troubles will hopefully be taken care of too: The studio said that the game engine will be optimized to provide minimal load times and stable framerates—but, rather like the status of the colon in the title, we'll have to wait and see on that.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts is currently expected to be out in 2019.