OPINION: Smart Square’s shooter surprise

Hitman’s hybrid marketing-development tricks like this won’t happen often, but is sure to raise some eyebrows, says Michael French

Do game announcements still wow you?

I’m probably not alone in feeling a bit lackadaisical about the announcement of Game X or Sequel Y, sometimes a year or more before anyone gets to truly play or sell them.

But when Square Enix showed MCV its new Hitman: Sniper Challenge game last week, cynical old me was surprised and impressed.

While it isn’t a game announcement as such, it is just as powerful as one.

Even better, this is a spin-off slice of gameplay that players get to experience very, very soon.

That’s not just a magnet for fans, but a compelling proposition for retailers.

Sniper Challenge is free and fun, yet looks slick and expensive. Hybrid marketing-development tricks like this won’t happen often, but is sure to raise some eyebrows – and at least help establish Hitman as a contender to the Game X and Sequel Y follow-ups due in Q4.

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