IO Interactive’s new Hitman game, which will launch in March 2016, has already created a lot of confusion and controversey. The developers announced that rather than releasing the full game they’ll instead put out a chunk of the game to begin with, and will then gradually add more and more content. At launch Hitman will shape with three locations and six campaign missions, with three new sandbox locations and more missions arriving in April, May and June. Weekly one-off events and other stuff will also be added yet.
Confused yet? Don’t worry, it just got worse: you can opt to $59.99 (about £50) which will get you the game at launch and every bit of future content, or you can choose to buy the Intro Pack for $34.99 which will include all of the launch content and March’s updates. If you like what the Intro Pack has to offer then you can pick up the upgrade pack for another $29.99 which will get you the rest of the game as it is delivered. In short opting to just shell out the full $59.99 will save you a measly $5 over getting the Intro Pack first to see if the damn game is even any good.
Needless to say IO Interactive’s unusual plan for Hitman has sparked a lot of people saying that it’s basically just Early Access since IO are asking people to shell out cash to play an unfinished game where the goal is to presumably use feedback to tweak later content. Meanwhile IO are adament that it isn’t Early Access in disguise but don’t seem able to actually present any coherent argument that suggests it isn’t. The odd thing is, though, that with a window of just three months in which new locations and missions are going to be added there’s not a whole lot of time to incorporate any large feedback if it turns out players just outright don’t like the core gameplay and ideas.
In other words I’m still struggling to see any real benefit to this entire plan.