There's an excellent new NoClip episode focusing on Hitman developers, IO Interactive and it looks like Hitman 3 is already in development and will stick with its episodic release structure.
Host Danny O'Dwyer visited the Danish studio in Copenhagen to give fans an inside look at the split between IO Interactive and Square Enix back in 2017. At the time fans (myself included) feared the worst. We've seen this kind of relationship go south in the past. Major studios have ended up losing the rights to the IPs they created (yes, we're looking at you Konami) and it seemed like the same would happen to IO when Square Enix looked into selling the developers.
Instead of facing a buyout and potential studio closure, IO Interactive implemented a management buyout to maintain the rights to Hitman and transitioned into an independent studio.
While none of this is new information, there were a few significant takeaways to be gleaned from the NoClip episode. CEO Hakan Abrak stated "Hitman is a trilogy. There's a bright future – there's this full realization of the whole World of Assassination that we're looking towards as well". Hakan continued "The World of Assassination, when that's complete, it's going to be one game with all the locations starting from Paris in Hitman to the last location in Hitman 3."
It's no surprise that we'll eventually see Agent 47 return. What is surprising is when O'Dwyer stated that "The majority of the studio, at least here in Copenhagen, is working on something secret, and rather excitingly, something new". Abrak elaborated saying "We are looking into the future with new things, potentially new IPs that we might be working on".
IO recently opened a new studio in Sweden this past January, which is where the majority of work on the Hitman series is taking place. The main studio in Copenhagen is taking the lead on the unannounced project. Gamescom is coming up in August so we may be lucky enough to hear something about IO's next project then.
While I'm excited to see what the studio has in store for fans, I'm still patiently waiting for a sequel to Freedom Fighters... After all, It's only been seventeen years.
Check out the whole episode of "The Fall & Rise of Hitman" over on NoClip's YouTube channel here!