It’s been some time since we last saw Agent 47 stealthily choking his way through a new, convoluted adventure. Hitman: Blood Money dropped in 2006 and rumors have been circulating for at least two years that the series is due to have another installment. Now the rumors are all set to start anew.
Gaming blog SystemLink spotted a couple of mentions of Hitman 5 in the LinkedIn profiles of Theo Engell-Nielsen and Damien Simper, a former programmer and animator at IO Interactive, respectively. Both left the company in mid-2009. Additionally, PlayStation LifeStyle has dug up a Google cache of Blood Money director Rasmus Hoejengaard’s profile which shows that he, too, had listed the title but swept it away within the last three weeks.
All of this pretty strongly points towards the existence of the title but there’s still no way of knowing what state the project is in. Engell-Nielsen’s profile lists the game as “finished” with a 2011 date. Meanwhile, the only thing Hoejengaard’s profile proves is that IO had made some form of plans for Hitman back in 2006, as he stepped away from the games industry four months after the release of Blood Money.
So what’s taken so long? Why hasn’t the game been announced by this point? The Hitman franchise managed to pump out a sequel every two years from its inception. The Kane & Lynch series almost certainly diverted resources away a more dignified assassin, but there has to be more to it than that.
I would guess it more likely that the culprit is IO’s new engine, Glacier2. Once expected to be in use by 2007, there has yet to be a game released that employs it. Even Kane & Lynch 2 used an improved version of the older Glacier engine which has been in use by the developer since the first Hitman. If our mysterious sequel were to be the first to use a new engine, this could not only explain a lengthy or delayed development cycle but also hesitance to announce the title.
Assuming the accuracy of the evidence available here, there would seem little doubt that Agent 47 will be rearing his shiny head once again and probably soon. Considering all of the secrecy about the project, I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out swinging.