Amidst a very uncertain backdrop, Io Interactive stealth game Hitman is dropping its episodic sales model.
Io was put up for sale by owner Square Enix last month. Now it has announced that the various parts of Hitman's first – and now seemingly only – season are to be condensed into a single SKU. Both the Intro Pack and the Upgrade Pack will be dropped.
The studio, however, claims that these changes were planned before the recent disturbance.
These changes have been planned since early March and will make it easier and simpler to buy the game,” it said. Our intention is to make ‘The Complete First Season' the default option for new players to buy the game, now that all of the episodes have been released. Additionally, these changes will help us to lay the foundations for our future plans for Hitman.
We are announcing these changes today, to make sure that existing players are fully aware of their options and to give a fair amount of time before these changes come into effect.”
On Steam, while individual episodes will no longer be available to buy, existing players who only own part of the game will only face a partial charge should they wish to buy more, with Steam automatically detecting what content is already owned.
On Xbox, however, Intro pack owners will have the chance to purchase the Complete bundle at a reduced price. There will be no price reduction for PS4 owners, however. Individual episodes will remain available on both platforms.
Hitman's episodic release was a matter of hot debate long before its release, with plans undergoing more than one change prior to the game's arrival.
Io was put up for sale by Square Enix in May.
To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of Io Interactive a wholly owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31st 2017,” a note from Square Enix said at the time.
This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898m (33m), including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets.”