It looks like it's back to the white, padded cell, all strapped and gagged, for Agent 47.
After being IO Interactive's sole project for over a decade, the former Square Enix subsidiary is shelving the entire franchise in the meantime so it can focus on a highly anticipated project.
IO Interactive chief creative officer, Christian Elverdam, broke the news to Eurogamer, saying:
Right now a major, major new Hitman game... that's a little bit on hiatus, as we're building another agent fantasy that's also taking up a lot of our time. But obviously we'll come back to beloved Agent 47. He's still very much in the heart of this company.
IO Interactive announced its latest game, Project 007, three years ago and we haven't heard much about it at all ever since. In the meantime, IO Interactive rebranded the recently released Hitman trilogy into a single bundle under the title "World of Assassination."
For what it's worth, the studio isn't dropping support for the Hitman series entirely, with Elverdam saying that he hopes the studio can "have our cake and eat it too".
In addition to Project 007, IO Interactive is stretching its wings by trying out something completely out of the ordinary - an online fantasy RPG. We would've expected a similar project back when IO was still part of Square Enix.
If nothing else, it'll be interesting to see what will come of IO's upcoming projects, especially when they'll be the first time that the studio will try out something out of the norm.
We suspect that IO Interactive will find it incredibly challenging to apply the lessons it learned from the Hitman games to Project 007 without making it feel too derivative. Agent 47 and James Bond are two vastly different characters from distinct properties. Not to mention, James Bond is based on one of the most iconic characters in cinema. If Project 007 is anything short of one of the best James Bond games in existence, we don't think audiences will take kindly to it.
As for the fantasy RPG, we don't know what to make of it just yet. Maybe IO Interactive can call in a favor and ask Shuhei Yoshida for some advice. After all, Yoshi-P did turn around Final Fantasy 14.