Hitman fans may have been disappointed to see their PS4 preorders canceled, but there's a good reason for that: the game is now episodic.
Announced back in 2015, Hitman went up for preorder a while ago and raised plenty of interest despite being delayed. All of a sudden, however, fans noticed that preorders for the PlayStation 4 version of the game were pulled. No explanation was available at first, but IO Interactive is now shedding light on the matter.
As it turns out, the game needed some last-minute changes that led the developers to cancel PS4 preorders. Square Enix and IO Interactive decided to turn the upcoming Hitman title into an episodic game, rather than releasing the game in full as previously intended.
As for the canceled preorders, fans can rest assured that the game's release date remains unchanged. The full launch is still set for March 11, while the beta will kick off on Feb. 12.
If your HITMAN preorder is cancelled, don't panic. Release date is still March 11. We're adjusting a few things & will update in a few days.
— HITMAN (@Hitman) January 13, 2016
In a new statement on the Hitman website, IO Interactive explains how important it is for the release to rise up to the level of quality fans have come to expect from a Hitman game. With this in mind, the company decided to change how it's releasing the game.
"After a lot of consideration, we decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience with a major live component," reveals the announcement.
Some players may not be happy with this decision to make Hitman an episodic game, but IO Interactive is confident that this move will set a solid foundation for this title, as well as future Hitman releases.
"This first step is going to shape what the games will ultimately become," further touts the announcement.
This strategy will allow for faster feedback, player behavior analysis and regular changes that were not possible otherwise. An episodic structure will also leave way for a long story spread across multiple games, while shorter stories and arcs will make each game exciting.
The initial launch on March 11 will include the Hitman's Prologue and the Paris location, while the next location - Italy - will arrive in April. Morocco will follow in May, after which Hitman will get monthly content updates, including the three previously announced locations: Thailand, the U.S., and Japan.
The season will conclude later this year in Japan. Fans will also get to enjoy weekly live events, as well as extra planned content so they don't get bored until the next location becomes available.
When it comes to pricing, players will have to shell out $15 for the initial Hitman Intro Pack featuring the Prologue and the Paris location, not $35 as previously announced with the initial strategy. After that, each subsequent location that becomes available will cost $10, arriving as an add-on after the purchase of the Intro Pack.
Alternately, interested fans can also invest $50 up front to purchase the Upgrade Pack, which grants them full access to all content released after March 11.