Hitman 2 exists, and it will be published by Warner Bros. Hitman 2 was leaked through an image of the logo that was hosted on the Warner Bros. website. It has been taken down from that site. Beyond that, no other details have leaked as of yet. We don’t know if this game will follow the episodic model of the first one.
IO gets in
Last year, Square Enix laid off the entirety of IO Interactive, the developers behind the Hitman franchise. This led fans to speculate on the possibility that a sequel may never happen. Despite Hitman not topping the sales charts, it built a cult following. IOI is a talented team, to be sure, but they’re known for Hitman and not much else, so if a publisher picked them up it would be for this IP. Following the separation from Square Enix, IOI put out the Hitman GOTY edition and continued supporting the game. This was most likely to keep some cash flow coming in while they figured out the larger future of their company. It’s heartening to see that a publisher recognizes the niche appeal of a studio like IOI. Thankfully, WB stepped in.
Who Missed Out
Out of the major publishers, Microsoft was the only one that might have been desperate enough to pick up a niche IP. But even they must’ve been cautious about throwing their weight behind another darling team after what happened with Platinum and Scalebound. Aside from the console manufacturers, there’s EA and Bethesda in terms of large video game publishers. EA would be an extremely poor fit for IOI; their model and business practices would ruin a game like that. So that left Bethesda as the most obvious hope for IOI. Bethesda has strongly supported single-player games, Fallout 76 notwithstanding, so they seemed like an ideal candidate for a game like Hitman. But lo and behold, Warner Bros. scooped up IOI. WB could own IOI now, or this could be a one-and-done deal. As with all game news from the past month, we’ll hopefully see more of Hitman 2 at E3.