How IO turned Hitman around, from Absolution to World of Assassination

March 13, 2023
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When Hitman 3 recently changed its name to Hitman World of Asassination, I had no idea how meaningful the moment was. On the outside it looked like a simple thing: Hitman 3 would now be known by this name and include levels from Hitman 2 and 3 – the trilogy would all be in one place. But on the inside, at IO Interactive, much more was going on.

World of Assassination is the culmination of a plan that was 10 years in the making – a plan that survived enormous upheaval at the company. It survived a management buyout during which the entire future of Hitman was in doubt. But all the time the vision was there, a vision of what Hitman could be, and World of Assasination is it.

The story begins with the release of, and feedback to, Hitman Absolution in 2012. Remember, this was the first Hitman game in several years and expectations were high. But it flopped, and the fond memories of Hitman Blood Money from 2006 loomed large and distant. “Absolution isn’t its finest hour,” Tom Bramwell wrote in our Hitman Absolution review.

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