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After the gaming industry went on a dubstep-and-Dew-fueled vacation to E3 last week, it’s now back to business as usual. By “business,” I of course mean layoffs, and goodness gracious, figurative business is booming. However, literal business – the part where people make money – isn’t faring so well because, well, layoffs. This time, the sobering specter took its scythe to Hitman developer IO Interactive, reducing its workforce by “almost half”. Yeesh. The plan to get things back on track? Er, make more Hitman. Which is to say, make nothing but Hitman.
It’s a bad day for Square Enix, latter-day publisher of Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex and Thief, as well as those dreary Final Fantasy things. Citing “slow sales of major console games” as well as uninspiring business from its arcade machine arm, it’s admitted that its recent monies “substantially fall below its plan” and its president Yoichi Wada has fallen on his sword as a result. (more…)
Lackluster Hitman: Ablutions sales and wider money woes at publisher Square Enix don’t seem to have deterred their interest in doing something more with old Baldy McMurderpants. Or maybe money woes is exactly why they’re happy to let a sequel to/reboot of the rather wretched 2007 Hitman movie go ahead. (more…)
Update: Gosh, that was quick. Before any other sites had even picked up on this one, Square have removed the app. Links from it now reroute to the main Hitman page, and previously sent death threats no longer work.
Update 2: Square have issued a statement apologising for the app. The full statement is at the bottom of the post.
Original: Square Enix aren’t having a brilliant Winter. With profits pointing downward, and Hitman a bit of a stinker, they surely must be on the phone with the Humble Bundle folks, trying to follow THQ. But everything’s going to improve with their latest marketing campaign for the disappointing baldie killer! “SQUARE ENIX,” says the email that’s just arrived in my inbox, “WANTS YOU TO PUT A HIT ON YOUR FRIENDS”. Ahaha! Threaten to murder your chums! And mock them for their looks, or the size of their breasts or penis!
Why distort one beloved franchise when you can do two at once? The latest DLC for Hitman: Ablutions once again fails to add new missions, ideally in a Streets of Hope vein, but instead a new costume and gun which can only be used in the Contracts mode. This new costume is the kevlar’n'metal duds of one Adam Jensen, he of Deus Ex: Human Revolution fame. This happens due to Hitman and Deux Ex being publisher stablemates, of course. As far as I can tell there is no narrative justification for why Baldy McChoke would come to acquire the augmented form of a mopey, bearded cyborg from the future, but hell, if Ridley Scott can contrive to unite the Blade Runner and Alien universes then this is no less silly.
The DXHR togs do make 47 look a bit like Gunther, mind. (more…)
In which Adam, who has played it all, and Alec, who has played around a third of it, gather to discuss IO Interactive’s divisive Hitman: Absolution. Devout Blood Money disciple Adam felt let down by this latest reinvention of Agent 47 – does Alec feel differently? (“No.”) They do find some positive things to say about it though, promise.>
Alec: I’ve been playing some Absolution. It’s brilliant! Just kidding. It’s a nasty, grimy, uneven game.
Adam: I almost wish I had someone to debate it with, who did think it was brilliant. But I think I’d just say YOU’RE WRONG and we’d find little common ground. I have been pondering how much of my dislike does come from the ugliness of it – I don’t think it’s well designed on the whole but there are bright spots. I wonder if I’d feel more sympathetic toward those if they weren’t wrapped in grime. (more…)
With Hitman’s latest subtitle so recently creeping into public view, IO are already talking about 47′s future. Speaking to OPM, Absolution’s director Tore Blystad confirmed that the next title in the franchise will be developed at Square Enix Montreal rather than remaining in-house. Blystad reckons development will follow a similar pattern to work on the Call of Duty games, so presumably we can expect development duties to alternate between Squenix and IO as they do between Treyarch and Infinity Ward. It almost certainly means we’ll be seeing the wigless wonder more frequently in the next few years. Three weeks ago I would have said that was a good thing. If you’ve played Absolution, perhaps you’d care to compare your thoughts with mine?