[UPDATE] Square Enix has issued the following statement to clarify today's news about the cancelation of a Hitman game that was being developed at Square Enix Montreal:
"There's a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix-owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion. Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise," A Square Enix representative said. "We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."
[Original story below]
All is not well with agent 47, the eerily hairless protagonist of the Hitman series. The LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab) of senior game designer Richard Knight indicates that the next-gen installment in the series he was working on at Square Enix Montreal was recently canceled, Videogamer first discovered.
The LinkedIn profiles of other employees at Square Enix Montreal indicate that the game was a “re-imagining,” and that it would have featured some form of microtransactions.
In late 2012, we first reported that the next-gen Hitman game was being developed by the then newly formed Square Enix Montreal, and not the original Hitman developer, IO Interactive. Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad said the franchise would be handled similarly to how Activision handles the Call of Duty games.
“It's like with Treyarch and Infinity Ward,” Blystad told OPM . “You have an IP that has been developed. They will feed off each other, as well as somethings that stand out. 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.”
The plan was to let IO Interactive begin work on a new franchise while Square Enix Montreal took the lead on a new Hitman. But following a devastating fiscal year for Square Enix , IO halved its workforce and went back to Hitman , which, as far as we know, they're still developing now.
So it's not like we'll not get another Hitman game, it just might take a little longer until we do, and we won't be seeing the one Square Enix Montreal was working on.
We weren't the biggest fans of the most recent Absolution , but the Hitman series has had some amazing moments, especially in Hitman: Blood Money, which we've recently reinstalled.