IO Interactive has clarified how it intends to roll out additional content for Hitman, confirming that while the game will only ship with a limited amount of content on day one, all additional content and locations released throughout 2016 will be available to download at no additional cost.
There will be "no DLC or microtransactions", the studio promises.
"It is fully complete at launch but it is not finished," studio head Hannes Seifert told VideoGamer.com at E3 earlier today. "What we do is we start the journey on December 8 and what we put out there is going to be a big game. But over the course of 2016 we'll add more locations, more missions and we'll have things like targets that only appear for, say, 2 days. That's something you can only do in the live world."
The game falls outside of traditional release models, launching as a full-priced $60 release but with additional content concluding the story rolling out in the months following launch. Once that content has been released, the game will be available to purchase on disc.
"We're not an Early Access game because Early Access games are unfinished by definition - you're part of the development," Seifert says. "Everything we ship on December 8 will be completely finished, it will be a very polished experience. It's also going to be a very big game. There are other products that sell a game for $60 and then try to sell you a Season Pass for another $40 on top, so you spend $100 or $120 for all the stuff that happens later on. We said no, we don't want to do that.
"We think it's wrong to approach players like that because players want to be part of that experience but they don't necessarily want to be ripped off. What we're going to sell is all of that but it's for a one-price package."
The amount of content available on day one, however, has yet to be decided, and the studio still isn't sure how frequently new levels will be released.
"We haven't really decided yet what will come out at what point in time but I can promise you that it will be a very big release on day one," Seifert continued. "There will be hours and hours of gameplay. You will travel the world to different locations. We start with Fashionable Paris that you've seen and you'll go to the bustling market of Marrakesh and the Italian coastline and way beyond that. What we can tell people is that we will have content coming every week. There will be an event every week and people can actually engage right away."
The amount of content available at launch will be clarified prior to release, the developer says, with further details expected within the next couple of months.
"This is a full-fledged Hitman," Seifert promises. "Actually it's a bigger Hitman game than ever before, it will be more than Absolution. Our biggest levels are way bigger than anything we had in Blood Money. The AI entities, we have about 300 of them when we used to have 40 or 50 in the previous games. So it's a very big game [that] we will keep updating. It's $60, no dollar more, no DLC or microtransactions or stuff like that. You will buy it and you will have entertainment for a few months on top."
Hitman launches on PS4, Xbox One and PC on December 8.