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IO-Nara: Squenix Montreal To Make Next Hitman

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?

Here’s Blystad:

“We’ve been talking about these similarities to some of the big movie franchise like Aliens, where everyone’s doing it their own way. Every time someone gets their hands on a franchise they do something different. So rather than doing the same thing again you get another take on the character from a fresh perspective”

I’m not quite sure what to think about this. To me, Absolution felt like a reboot with too much attention on a future franchise and not enough appreciation of its own past, so the idea of shared development duties rings the ‘churn’ alarm rather than bringing about the aroma of variety, that fine old spice. I wouldn’t argue with a change of direction though and maybe Squenix will have some fresh ideas with a little more conviction and a little less (ahem) Conviction.

The team in Montreal won’t be complete novices to the faulty-follicled franchise – “some of the key developers came from IO and have been working on previous games”. As for IO, some of the staff have already move onto a new project. Could it be a sequel to Freedom Fighters, I wonder, and then immediately wonder anew if I actually want it to be anymore.

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Adam Smith

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