Square Enix Montreal, a brand new 150-person development studio opening in 2012, has been created by the publisher. Its first project? A brand new Hitman game.

Nothing else is known about the title, though Square Enix says it will be "a new premium quality game".

As part of the Square Enix Montreal's announcement, the studio has been tasked by the publisher to build "AAA games for tomorrow's audiences" - leading some to speculate that this new studio could be focusing on next-gen development.

Square Enix's other Montreal studio, Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montreal, is also looking to hire another 100 staff to work on a third AAA franchise, alongside Deus Ex and Thief.

"The start up of a second studio brings a huge advantage to our business; we will nurture two separate studios with their own strengths, culture and appeal," said Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers.

2012 will see the release of Hitman: Absolution, currently in development by Danish developer IO Interactive, for 360, PS3, and PC. Square Enix Montreal's untitled Hitman game will be the first in the series not developed by IO Interactive.