It’s been announced today that Io Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive have come to an agreement to publish and distribute the game Hitman, starting with Hitman: Definitive Edition.
Hitman has been without a publisher for a little while. The series was revived by the excellent 2016 Hitman, which perfected the formula and stands as a great example of how to do episodic content. However, not long after its conclusion, developer Io Interactive and publisher Square Enix separated with Io keeping custody of the IP. Since then though, the game has remained without a publisher.
That is why this latest news is interesting. Io Interactive and Warner Brothers are teaming up on the game, and that partnership is starting with the Hitman: Definitive Edition, which is set for May 18, 2018. That will bring all of the game’s current content as well as new costumes inspired by other Io titles like Freedom Fighters, Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas. If you haven’t picked the game up, seeing this, with all the missions and all the DLC included is plenty to sink your teeth into.
What this means for Hitman as a franchise though is a little unclear. Warner Bros. is seemingly just helping distribute the new release of the game, but there are hints that we can expect the agreement to continue. In a press release, the definitive edition is only “part” of the agreement, and it seems the agreement covers Hitman (2016) in its entirety. It says:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and independent game developer, IO Interactive, today announced a worldwide publishing and distribution agreement for the acclaimed international video game, HITMAN™. As part of this agreement, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will publish the HITMAN™: Definitive Edition.
We’ve reached out for further clarification as to if this agreement goes past this one release and would continue onto, say, a hypothetical season 2 of the game, and we will update if we hear anything.
It’s clear this is just one agreement though and Warner Brothers haven’t seemingly ‘bought’ Hitman. At the same time, it does mean there is a relationship here and that is probably a positive thing for the series. Here’s hoping we see some more brand new content. Hitman was excellent and I’d love to see more.