Hitman was originally set for release on December 8, but Square Enix opted to delay the game until March 2016. Today, we get a specific release date. Hitman will hit digital storefronts on March 11, 2016.
In the delay announcement, Io-Interactive said, “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.”
Io-Interactive is answering everyone’s biggest question today. What’s available at launch? The infographic below highlights exactly what can be played on March 11, and what’s coming soon after.
I look at this infographic and I keep asking myself, ‘why are they taking this approach?’ This kind of piece meal approach would make sense with a subscription model. But it’s just a $60 game that you don’t get all at once.
Square Enix is adding two different price tiers. One at $34.99 called the Intro Pack and The Full Experience at $59.99. The Upgrade Pack is priced at $29.99, which includes the content from April through June.
There are three ways of looking at this model. It’s needlessly complicated (this is where I lean). Or, Square Enix is experimenting with a new pricing structure. The post launch release schedule isn’t long enough for any meaningful changes to come from player feedback. One month isn’t long enough to address any major issues in future content. Not without delaying the schedule.
Let’s say Hitman’s model is to test a new pricing structure. I can think of a few games I wouldn’t mind seeing adopt it. Battlefield for one. I would be all over a $40 price point for Battlefield 5’s multiplayer. Would EA ever go that route? Hell no. But it would be nice.
Or, Square Enix wants to keep players hooked. Give players a sizable chunk of the game and then feed content in over the course of several months. But, this would only make sense if there are microtransactions in Hitman. And as far as I know, there’s not.
Hitman’s model might be confusing, but the gameplay looks solid
You know why Hitman’s model is confusing? Because Square Enix has to keep talking about it. It overshadows what looks to be a great Hitman game. Last month, Io-Interactive gave us a good look at one of Hitman’s six missions at launch – Showstopper.
Bigger missions are clearly something Io-Interactive is aiming for with Hitman. The developer says Showstopper is six times larger than Hitman Absolution’s largest mission.