Hitman Next-Gen Project Killed, Square Enix Confirms

Hitman Next-Gen Project Killed, Square Enix Confirms

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It's just Square's next-gen version, not the Hitman series as a whole.

Square Enix Senior Designer Richard Knight caused some excitement when he updated his LinkedIn profile, adjusting it to "Senior Designer - Hitman Project (Next-Gen Consoles/Current Gen/PC) - Cancelled." That title, which may or may not have been called Hitman: Guns and Souls, is dead in the water, but developer IO Interactive was quick to reassure the internet that this cancellation doesn't mean the Hitman franchise is dead.

IO community content manager Travis Tweets that it was just the next-gen title, not the series, which has fallen by the wayside. IO is the developer of the series, while Square is one of the publishers.

Square Enix is currently working on an Android and iOS Hitman title, rather than the cancelled PC and console game, while IO is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. Neither project has been formally announced.

Confused? Don't worry; it could be much worse.

Source: VG24/7

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They couldnt rely on his hair to promote the game as they are doing with Lara's.

Last one was really disappointing. The new disguise mechanic and linear level design killed it for me. It's like they blew their entire budget on the engine.

Blood Money was leagues ahead in fun factor.

Also, just to add to the article:

Wikipedia:
Originally, the game was to be developed by Square Enix Montreal however recently, their parent company Square Enix ran into financial difficulties, and they had large numbers of employees cut to save money.

In addition to this, it was confirmed that IO Interactive would be working solely on Hitman 6 and would no longer be developing any more additions to the Kane & Lynch, Mini Ninjas or Freedom Fighters series.

Square Enix Montreal, which was originally working on the next Hitman title, will now reportedly focus on developing smartphone and tablet versions of Hitman and other games

Guess this is what happens when you piss away money on bloated development budgets -_-

Still, no more kane and lynch is a plus =P

Real shame, seeing as I really enjoyed Absolution (it being the only Hitman game I ever finished).

Maybe they wanna overhaul the game again, which could be amazing (for the old school fans) or disastrous for everyone who cares about stealth.

Personally I think they'll be going for the latter, seeing as their shareholders are most likely still after their heads, and they wanna 'attract the CoD fanbase'.

Absolution was fantastic. So were the previous games. I'm not going to play an iOS version of the game though, that's silly. *sigh*

So Square's response to poor sales isn't to budget more appropriately, it's to be more like EA?

best thing about this article... the video for the pellet with the poison

Oh boy! A Squeenix mobile version of Hitman, a franchise they already seem to view with disdain? Given how much effort they put into FF:All The Bravest I can't wait for the inevitably incredible Hitman Mobile game the studio will produce. I'm sure it won't at all be exploitative and will be challenging and entertaining.

If Absolution was anything to go by, this might be a good sign for the franchise.

ron1n:

Guess this is what happens when you piss away money on bloated development budgets -_-

Still, no more kane and lynch is a plus =P

I'm not sure I can live without my Mini Ninjas fix though.

But seriously, I doubt anyone cares about K&L, but the overall trend is one of....

Lightknight:

So Square's response to poor sales isn't to budget more appropriately, it's to be more like EA?

I would think more like Ubisoft, who has outright said they're not interested in games without franchise potential.

suitepee7:
best thing about this article... the video for the pellet with the poison

LRR's Andy Cowdnen often reminds me of Danny Kaye. It's not just the face; there's something about the deadpan comic delivery.

So, no next-gen title, but theres an IOs game in development?
With two bad news how can this article be positive about anything??

Maybe you should kill the franchise. For a bit. Then give the game to another studio.

At this point Hitman needs a Tomb Raider makeover.

TopazFusion:
Man, they used to put out a Hitman game every 2 years.

Hitman: Codename 47 - (2000)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - (2002)
Hitman: Contracts - (2004)
Hitman: Blood Money - (2006)
Hitman: Absolution - (2012) <-- ????

2 years between each game turned into 6 years, with Absolution.

Square Enix seems to be floundering with this franchise.

More annoying than the 6 years between Blood Money and Absolution is the fact that IO Interactive spent those years making the dreadful Kane&Lynch games instead...

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And sadly, it also begs the question: If they were dumb enough to make the K&L games and H:A was lackluster, can they ever make a game as bloody brilliant as Blood Money ever again?

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:

So Square's response to poor sales isn't to budget more appropriately, it's to be more like EA?

I would think more like Ubisoft, who has outright said they're not interested in games without franchise potential.

I've actually considered Ubisoft to be well on the way to the road of being EA for awhile now. So i don't disagree.

It seems the people who sign off on the budgets like to point anywhere but at themselves. As such, we never seem to get better budgeting and instead they just try to do different things. At least iOS will force them to budget more reasonably because you can't spend that much money on it anyways.

At some point, I hope the people who have figured out the stages of good product development (1. Conservative sales forecasting. 2. Conservative Budgeting based on conservative forecasting. 3. Keeping to the budget as closely as possible) will somehow usurp these crazy companies who think that if they only spend $10 million on an RPG that they can then get COD money.

Hitman, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs. These were good games that each sold millions of copies. But let me tell you something, if you sell millions of copies and still lose money, you're doing it wrong. Square Enix is pointing their fingers in the wrong direction and they're too sick to see it.

So an iOS and Android title hey...so the franchise IS dead?

Such a shame, Blood Money was amazing.

josemlopes:
They couldnt rely on his hair to promote the game as they are doing with Lara's.

Cheeky. (But seriously, dat hair!)

OT: I'm... increasingly concerned about Square Enix. Are they OK? Do they need help? Are they killing everything? D:

Can't say I'm really all that upset by it, I enjoyed Absolution somewhat but I never was able to get into it like Silent Assassin, or even as much as Blood Money.

Linear level designs? Caring about other people? Agent 47 was drunk on his last outing.

Still getting Final Fantasy X-3 and XII-3 tho? Godammit Sqaure Enix

I really hope they return to the good old days (SA and BM). But i fear that it's gonna be a new game, new studio, more cover mechanics, multiplayer deathmatches, perk system and a "OI you haven't moved for 2 seconds, so go here" arrow hint system. Everything to get the CoD fanbase.. heaven forbid they actually develop for a more hardcore fanbase... Ugh.

Lightknight:
I've actually considered Ubisoft to be well on the way to the road of being EA for awhile now. So i don't disagree.

I singled them out mostly because EA seems to actually care about their image. I mean, they're still stupid and do some crappy things to games, but this seems more overt. Still, potayto potahto.

At some point, I hope the people who have figured out the stages of good product development (1. Conservative sales forecasting. 2. Conservative Budgeting based on conservative forecasting. 3. Keeping to the budget as closely as possible) will somehow usurp these crazy companies who think that if they only spend $10 million on an RPG that they can then get COD money.

The best part about 3 to me will be that they will no longer feel they need to make back that 10 million. Which you already touched upon mentioning the three games in question. The two of the three games I played (Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider) were both good games and it's really a damn shame that they're considered liabilities instead of assets. Though with the sequel to SD coming out, maybe it's still in the game. I just hope they don't end up canning it, too.

I have Absolution (PS+ freebie), but I haven't played it yet, so I can't speak to it.

Guys... just release a source engine version. We don't need spunky graphics. We don't need elaborate story lines written by a moron. We don't need 47 going on an introspective journey about whether there is more in life than just killing. The answer to that is a firm no. The dude is an asexual, emotionless killing machine. The closest thing to an emotion he can feel is temperatures.

All we need is sprawling open ended levels with hundreds of ways to kill our target. We need targets that have been characterized, who we know or can find out things about. We need a proper disguise system not the one that you put in Hitman Abomination. Most of all though we need freedom. We need to be able to do whatever we want and not be constrained by your "Approved ways of taking out the target". If I want to stick a bomb in a pie and make it explode in the target's face I should be able to stuff that bomb in that cake.

Blood Money and the other Hitman games were excellent. However they were not 100% free. That should be your focus. To literally allow us to interact any kind of execution method with any kind of object. A Hitman game will be a masterpiece in my eyes if when I am ordered to kill a drug king pin tap dancer I can order a pair of shoes, hollow out the heels and load em with plastic explosives, then switch out this pair of shoes with the tap dancer's pair of shoes so that when he does a certain routine he'll be blown skyhigh.

That is Hitman. Creativity in execution.

We don't ask much. For most of the people I know that enjoyed Hitman all they want is a game where you play a Hitman. Give us a set of contracts. Give us a broad overarching narrative to string em together. Give us backstory for the characters, the key word being characters, that we are tasked with eliminating. Then let us loose in the playground that you call a level. That's all there really needs to be to a Hitman game.

TopazFusion:
Man, they used to put out a Hitman game every 2 years.

Hitman: Codename 47 - (2000)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - (2002)
Hitman: Contracts - (2004)
Hitman: Blood Money - (2006)
Hitman: Absolution - (2012) <-- ????

2 years between each game turned into 6 years, with Absolution.

Square Enix seems to be floundering with this franchise.

I think that the series was supposed to end with Blood Money, but since the Kane & Lynch games were complete failures IO decided to stick to what they know.

Square Enix is currently working on an Android and iOS Hitman title, rather than the cancelled PC and console game, while IO is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. Neither project has been formally announced.

Right, because an android game is exactly what us fans want. FFS.

Absolution sucked, maybe it's better this next offering got the chop. It actually negatively impacted the quality of the franchise up until and including Blood Money. I don't understand why, when they have already created a superb game in the series by evolving the winning formula with each iteration, they decided instead to make a linear SC: Conviction type bollocks. Honestly, I'd genuinely prefer an "HD Remake" of any of 1-3 with awesome new textures and what have you. If they've lost the ability to make a decent new Hitman game, then just remake the older ones for current gen hardware.

TopazFusion:
Man, they used to put out a Hitman game every 2 years.

Hitman: Codename 47 - (2000)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - (2002)
Hitman: Contracts - (2004)
Hitman: Blood Money - (2006)
Hitman: Absolution - (2012) <-- ????

2 years between each game turned into 6 years, with Absolution.

Square Enix seems to be floundering with this franchise.

Not really, since they had nothing to do with the previous ones. I guess they had to pull out something to compensate for how bad Kane & Lynch sold, and forget about creating a new IP, that would be nonsense.

Zachary Amaranth:

Lightknight:
I've actually considered Ubisoft to be well on the way to the road of being EA for awhile now. So i don't disagree.

I singled them out mostly because EA seems to actually care about their image. I mean, they're still stupid and do some crappy things to games, but this seems more overt. Still, potayto potahto.

I think they (EA) only care about their image now because it has cost them financially and the image problem has reached news-level proportions with "awards" pointing it out laughably. So EA is only ahead on the progression of what these companies do. Ubisoft will continue this until it impacts them to the point of shame and loss and then will get to the other side like EA. Square is going that way unless they learn from those mistakes.

The best part about 3 to me will be that they will no longer feel they need to make back that 10 million. Which you already touched upon mentioning the three games in question. The two of the three games I played (Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider) were both good games and it's really a damn shame that they're considered liabilities instead of assets. Though with the sequel to SD coming out, maybe it's still in the game. I just hope they don't end up canning it, too.

I have Absolution (PS+ freebie), but I haven't played it yet, so I can't speak to it.

As long as they budget within the confines of a reasonable market forecast for the product they're selling, then they should almost never lose money or even take a large hit. Some idiot in their forecasting (marketing) department is looking at the numbers that COD games or whatever pull in and are trying to go after it with games that aren't even part of that market segment. I'm sorry, but generally only COD makes COD money. They fill a specific niche and have loyal fans and that's why they've been in the top five top software sellers every year since 2009 and have had two versions of their games in the top five for the last four years. Those same games typically sell in the top 30 highest selling games in the following year. That's above the games of the year by a fair margin. But no matter how much you spend on an RPG or Action Adventure game you aren't going to get that market.

It's like a hotdog company forecasting their sales based on if they made hamburgers. It doesn't make sense. What's more, even a COD clone wouldn't make COD money. Battlefield is currently COD's competition and they're only doing as well as COD's previous entry, not current entry (which is still great). So even if they were "making hamburgers", they can't forecast like they're going to make the big brand's money because of brand loyalty.

So when a game sells millions of units and they lose money. They have only themselves to blame.

I wouldn't mind the franchise getting canned before it turns into a zombie.

Absolution was meh at best, some parts were outright embarrising. Let 47 retire as long as he has some dignity left, he earned it.

Chaosritter:
I wouldn't mind the franchise getting canned before it turns into a zombie.

Absolution was meh at best, some parts were outright embarrising. Let 47 retire as long as he has some dignity left, he earned it.

Really? I really enjoyed this one. There's just something about the parameters of the levels that really fills a want for me. The need for stealth, the ability to do something without anyone noticing in an intuitive manner. I felt like it really stepped things up.

Did you like previous titles?

Lightknight:
Really? I really enjoyed this one. There's just something about the parameters of the levels that really fills a want for me. The need for stealth, the ability to do something without anyone noticing in an intuitive manner. I felt like it really stepped things up.

Did you like previous titles?

I loved Silent Assassin and Blood Money, that's why I dislike Absolution.

They traded the gritty and realistic elements for over the top action. Like, you know, instead of sending another hitman to deal with 47 in a discrete manner, they send an entire platton of Agency soldiers (that all bear the Agency insigia clearly visible) led by a group of BDSM nuns with rocket launchers. In fact they give so damn little about subtlety that they openly invade an entire city, killing everything that moves.

The game mechanics have been altered in a bad way too. Sure, that instinct thing is interesting, but overall nonsenical. You can easily stash shotguns and sniper rifles in your sleeve, which makes even less sense.

So, to summarize: the story is dumb, it's way over the top and the game mechanics have gotten much worse.

Chaosritter:

Lightknight:
Really? I really enjoyed this one. There's just something about the parameters of the levels that really fills a want for me. The need for stealth, the ability to do something without anyone noticing in an intuitive manner. I felt like it really stepped things up.

Did you like previous titles?

I loved Silent Assassin and Blood Money, that's why I dislike Absolution.

They traded the gritty and realistic elements for over the top action. Like, you know, instead of sending another hitman to deal with 47 in a discrete manner, they send an entire platton of Agency soldiers (that all bear the Agency insigia clearly visible) led by a group of BDSM nuns with rocket launchers. In fact they give so damn little about subtlety that they openly invade an entire city, killing everything that moves.

The game mechanics have been altered in a bad way too. Sure, that instinct thing is interesting, but overall nonsenical. You can easily stash shotguns and sniper rifles in your sleeve, which makes even less sense.

So, to summarize: the story is dumb, it's way over the top and the game mechanics have gotten much worse.

Ah yes, I can see why someone would dislike that. In a lot of games I definitely prefer realism. But I enjoyed the over-the-top nature of this one. From the giant wrestler to the nuns. It was a truly unique experience.

But I can certainly see why that wouldn't suit all tastes. For what it's worth, the missions can usually be solved in ways that wouldn't cross any of your qualms. I've never "needed" a shotgun or rifle unless I'm just dicking around.

 

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