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Square Enix CEO explains new episodic approach to Hitman

From GameWatcher: "The news that the next Hitman title would be released as a digital-only, episodic product when it launches this December raised a few eyebrows when it was revealed at E32015. It's an unusual approach for a publisher to take with one of its flagship franchises.

Square Enix US and Europe boss Phil Rogers discussed the new approach in a recent interview with MCV. Square hopes the extra time the episodic structure gives developer IO Interactive will lead to a more creative and polished end product.

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ArchangelMike1107d ago

The main issue for me is cost per episode, and then frequency of episodic content. I loved absolution, so taking that as a baseline for quality, I'd would want to know how much all the episode would cost. It would have to be the same pric as a standard AAA - 60bucks. But then again I dont want to wait for 6 months before I can play the entire game. especially if I can play through an episode in a few hours.

aquaticDonut1107d ago

There isn't a cost per episode. You buy the game, which will be $60 at launch, and it'll be updated for free. They were very explicit in stating that you'd only have to pay the base price of the game to experience all content.

annoyedgamer1107d ago

In other words, we are paying for an unfinished product.

freshslicepizza1106d ago

"In other words, we are paying for an unfinished product."

then wait until the game is done like we do already for most games. problem solved. i don't get the issue here, they are offering the game while in development like early access. giving you a choice to get it early or wait yet what do we do, we continually complain about everything.

arkard1107d ago

I disagree, its not that its not finished, they are just adding missions. Its either 60$ and you get everything as it comes out or they could have went the "episodic" route and had less missions at the start, charge 15-20$ and then charge each time more missions come out.

bixxel1105d ago

No. You only have to pay 60$ (nothing more). Every new mission that will arrive in future will be totally free (IO confirmed this like 10-20 times. Where have you been ?).

And whoever doesn't like the idea can simply buy the full product at the end of 2016 for 60 $, but he'll miss out the weekly contests on contracts mode (that are also free but temporary).

-Foxtrot1107d ago

"When you are in the final months of development, that’s when some devs have their most creative ideas"

Then you note them down and add them for the sequel

Silly excuses of them trying to defend this. Just using Hitman as a experiment to try and bring in more money but cut development costs some way.

I mean it comes down to money, they wouldn't suddenly change and go through all this if they didn't figure out a way to either bring in more money or save it

arkard1107d ago

But where is the "extra" money coming from its 60$ and all the other episodes are free.

-Foxtrot1107d ago

Is it that straight forward though.

They could be developing less content and releasing what they could have included in the main game as free. Free content makes them look like a good sport in most peoples eyes and would hopefully make people respect them more.

Plus if they develop less content for the episodes it means less money spent on development so they could save it

In the end, it's Square Enix, there's a secret agenda behind this. Would they really do all this for nothing...I don't think so.

freshslicepizza1106d ago (Edited 1106d ago )

your conspiracy theories and paranoia don't resonate here unless you can prove this to be the case. all you need to do then is simply wait for the full game and buy it then. nobody is forcing you to buy it early while it's still in development.

this to me is kind of like early access games but instead of bug ridden titles not ready for actual release they are giving us a finished product in bite size allotments. so again what is the problem here? you either get onboard early and play as they make it or wait for the full game.

we have seen so many games like destiny that get better over time. difference is people buy the full game thinking this is the game they want only to find out the developers tweaking it over time ans still finding ways of charging more for future dlc. with this they can get feedback while it's still being developed so that by the time the game is done it's already tweaked. so why complain when you can wait just like you would for any other game not done?

-Foxtrot1106d ago (Edited 1106d ago )

"don't resonate here unless you can prove this to be the case"

Not really....it's Square Enix, they have a history with shady things. Just like Capcom, EA and Activision.

"we have seen so many games like destiny that get better over time"

". so why complain when you can wait just like you would for any other game not done? "

When you know what's most likely going to happen, why wait....learn from history and anticipate it
Sure it does, doesn't mean it's now a good game.

freshslicepizza1106d ago

"Sure it does, doesn't mean it's now a good game."

once again you like to jump to conclusions to keep the negative antics alive. do you even have fun anymore because it just seems like all you do is look at the dark side of everything.

wait until the game is finalized like you would with any game and then complain if the game isn't fun or worth full price. all you are doing is trying to convince yourself to like like this new structure because it's different and you have proven time and again you don't like change.

rainslacker1106d ago

People buy season passes without much thought, so I think the resonance will be fine. So long as SE delivers on what it says it will, they aren't doing anything shady, because they are being very transparent about how they are pricing and releasing the game. It's entirely up to the buyer to decide if he wants to pay early, or pay when it's all finished, or somewhere in between.

All that being said, I will wait for the entire game to be finished, and hopefully get it on a retail release. Otherwise, I couldn't really care less. I do the same thing for Telltale games series, which you can also purchase the full game up front. This is no different except you can't purchase individual episodes.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1106d ago
aquaticDonut1107d ago

I'm totally fine with this appoach, honestly. Ultimately it's an effort to extend the games lifespan well over the couple weeks after its release, bUT it can also be used as a method to keep an eye on fan feedback and adjust new content to fit our needs.

annoyedgamer1107d ago

That's what they want you to think, what they are really doing is taking advantage of their consumer base. They are asking us to buy an unfinished product.

Kalebninja1107d ago

Telltale does the same thing and they don't get shit for it. The walking dead was released as episodic and is definitely one of the best games I've ever played, same goes Life is Strange which I'm currently enjoying.

KyRo1107d ago

@Kale, they also tell you how many episodes you're getting and don't charge full price.

This is no different to to steams early access but the problem with Hitman is that they are charging full price for it where as most early access games are discounted to pull in the extra sales and help fund/polish the game.

bixxel1105d ago

True, but you can simply buy at the end of 2016 if you don't like this idea.

Thefreeman0121107d ago

I hope that this game has daytime cycles and dynamic weather to add more replay value and variability to teach mission. Otherwise the static content could get dull fast

bixxel1105d ago

Yep. And also, what fans would dislike can be remedies in future missions. So, it's got it's merits too. Plus the weekly contests on contracts.

maelstromb1107d ago (Edited 1107d ago )

Square/Enix is quickly positioning itself as a dev/publisher consumers should be wary about... first this announcement and then the 'Augment Your Preorder' bollocks with Deus Ex: MD. These guys are quickly turning into the next EA Games ... AND because of this, they're ultimately ruining the excitement/anticipation I'm feeling (and many others) for two beloved franchises. Just when we thought micro-transactions were bad...

triple_c1107d ago

Square is definitely shooting them in the foot with these business decisions.

It seems like companies like Square Enix and Ubisoft are trying trying to compete against EA for the worst company in the world award lol

maelstromb1107d ago (Edited 1107d ago )

That absolutely seems to be the case. Why can't these companies JUST.BE.BETTER.(?) and stop trying to gouge consumers for every red cent. Take CD ProjektRED for example -- A dev/publisher not without room for improvement, but one leading the pack and revolutionizing the industry simply because they still recognize the value in rewarding their consumer-base with a polished product, free quality content and frequent updates to their products; all the while maintaining an-ear-to-the-ground-at-all-ti mes type of dev/production approach. Here with Square/Enix, we're getting half-truths and excuses cloaked under the veil of creativity.

triple_c1107d ago

Let me translate what he's saying for everyone..

"We are greedy f**** and we can't wait to take peoples monay! So instead of selling a finished product to people, we want people to give us money for an incomplete product and 1/4 of a game."

- Phil Roger$

bixxel1105d ago

If you don't like it, buy the game at the end of 2016. You'll have the full product then. But then you can't complain if you miss out the official weekly contests. Your choice.

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