The next installment in Io-Interactive's Hitman franchise is being delayed into next year for the developer to ensure more content will be available for the game at launch.
Hitman's new release date is March 2016, more than three months after its originally announced Dec. 8 date. IO announced the news via a blog post on the website of its new murder simulator.
"We want to make absolutely sure you all get the best possible experience when you join, so we've made the difficult decision to move the initial release date to March 2016," the developer writes. "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."
Hitman is unique in that the title is a digital-first release. Rather than receiving the full game at launch, those who spend $60 in the PlayStation or Xbox stores will receive a portion of the game immediately, followed by frequent updates that add new levels, contracts and content over time. This delay will allow the developer to add more content to the portion of the game that will be available at launch as well as speed up updates. Once the "full" game has been delivered, a disk-based release of the title is likely, though not yet confirmed.
"Moving a launch date is never an easy decision, we know it's frustrating to have to wait a bit longer for the game, but we truly believe it will mean we can deliver a better launch and overall experience," the developer writes. "We'll share more details next week about the full release schedule and scope of Hitman in general so keep a look out for that."
To illustrate the size and scope of the new Hitman title, the developer has also released an infographic detailing what one of the game's levels will look like. You can check that out below. Hitman is now slated for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in March.