Every year we look at the holiday release schedule and wonder who the hell is going to have time to play all these games? And every year a few games get shuffled away from the holiday onslaught into the January – March period. This year, HITMAN is one of those games.

Today, Square Enix and Io-Interactive announced HITMAN will not make its original December 8, 2015 release date. HITMAN is now slated for a March 2016 release.

The announcement reads:

These few extra months will mean we can add more to the launch content of the game, more than we had originally planned, and then follow with a tighter frequency of updates, which ultimately will create a better game for everyone. And in the end, that’s what we’re all looking for.

It’s disappointing news, but it’s the smart move in the long run. Every year games get lost in the holiday shuffle. HITMAN could have been one of them. Halo 5: Guardians, Fallout 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider and more are all coming out within a month of each other.

Pushing HITMAN to March 2016 is the right decision. The publisher’s job is to find a release date that gives their game the best chance of success. March 2016 does that. Plus, it gives Eidos more time to get more content into the game at launch.

Io-Interactive is trying something a bit different with this HITMAN. The full game won’t be available at launch. Instead, the developer will release more locations and missions throughout the months following launch. Now, you do get all of this additional content included in the $60 price. Also, HITMAN is not an ‘always-on’ game. You can play the locations and missions offline. But if you want to play the live events, you will need to be online.

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The announcement post also touched on how much bigger HITMAN is compared to Hitman: Absolution. The largest level in Hitman: Absolution was Streets of Hope. One of the levels in HITMAN (Paris – The Showstopper) is six times larger.

Hitman infographic

Io-Interactive uploaded a playthrough of Showstopper a few weeks ago.

It looks good, but what’s up with that mini-map? That better be optional (if anyone knows for sure, let me know. I’ve seen comments that it is, but can’t find anything official). Also, a sniper rifle on Agent 47’s back? C’mon, only a briefcase will do.

Io-Interactive plans to talk more about HITMAN’s content and give more details on the release schedule for the game next week.

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