Io want us to know that Hitman is not Early Access, though the reasoning given for this makes it sound much like an Early Access game. In a new FAQ Io the developers have stated:
Early access can often mean something unfinished or unpolished. That’s simply not the approach we’re taking. All of the content we release live to our players will be complete and polished, whether that’s the locations and missions we release on December 8th, the live events or the locations and missions that we will release in 2016. It will always be a polished Hitman experience.
So what is going to happen is that the Hitman game will be released in an unfinished form (but polished) with the game finally reaching completion sometime in 2016. This does fit an Early Access model for release, though in a more stable form than other games released in the same way.
It is understandable that they want to pull away from how the Early Access model is viewed, just in terms of making Hitman be a quality product.
Another interesting statement is that it is not an episodic game. What it actually is, is a game that “lives, grows and evolves” through chunks of game content being added in a stream of updates.
Live events will also be added. This growth of the game will begin December 8th until the story arc is completed. Hitman will be $60, and that will purchase all content.
So to be clear, this game that appears to be Early Access is not, and while chunks of game content are added over time, it is not episodic. I think that is clear to us now.
So what do you think of Hitman and its release schedule for content? Should it really matter if it was a game working using the Early Access model? Let us know your thoughts below.