Back in September, we reported that Square Enix/IO Interactive was changing how you’d be able to purchase Hitman. Originally, you could buy Hitman at either $60 or on what essentially would be a trial basis at $34. Since then, they must have seen the light and decided instead to release it episodically.
Here’s how it works. Gamers will have the option to buy the full game at $60. Think of that price as like the season pass. You’d get what is included in the game plus all the episodes, maps, contracts, etc as it’s released.
The other option they are providing is to buy each episode as they come. They call it the “Intro Pack“. It will be $15 and includes the Prologue Mission and Paris. The Intro Pack and the $60 game would be available March 11, 2016, digitally. The subsequent episodes would each cost $10 and would be released monthly, along with new maps and live events.
Head of IO Interactive, Hannes Seifert, seemed pretty pumped to the idea, “We decided to take the full leap and publish HITMAN as a truly episodic game experience; Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a HITMAN game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future – this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”
Playstation gamers will also be able to get their hands on 6 exclusive contracts, called The Sarajevo Six. Each contract will be released with each new location. It follows Agent 47 and his journey to take on former members of the paramilitary unit called the CICADA.
The idea to give people an “Intro Pack” is smart, on a base standpoint. However, you’re basically asking people to pay $15 for a glorified demo. Furthermore, gamers aren’t really saving money with this whole “episodic” approach. If anything, you’re spending more on a game than what you’ll probably get out of it. The whole idea just feels like a money grab. I understand why TellTale Games releases their games episodically. It makes sense. They also release them at much lower prices than what they’re trying to do with Hitman. The episodic approach seems like they’re trying to outsmart the everyday consumer. If you’re a fan, pay $60. If you’re not, watch someone play it on Twitch but don’t fall for this “Intro Pack” idea.
What do you think of the episodic Hitman?