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Hitman 3 sold so well at launch that it recouped its entire development costs in its first week of sale.
Abrak explained that the game has been doing “300% better commercially” than Hitman 2, and credits this to a number of factors, including the fact it self-published the game (Square Enix and Warner Bros published Hitman and Hitman 2 respectively) and its decision to launch the game in January.
“Once we took those risks and we saw the light at the end of the tunnel to choose an optimum space for releasing a Hitman game, we went for it, and for us that was January,” Abrak said.
“Hitman 2 launched in November 18, and there are a lot of big blockbuster games releasing in November, and I think this was just shortly after Red Dead Redemption 2, which obviously had an impact on our sales.
“And I’ve always for the longest time been a big fan of the idea of releasing a Hitman game in January. I always thought that was a great space for a Hitman game to have the attention it deserves with the kind of game it is. So we decided for January, not knowing how that would go, we’ve never done that before, but it turned out to be great timing.”
Abrak also suggested that a number of other factors led to the game’s sales performance, including its higher review scores and the fact it was one of the first big post-launch games on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
“So everything kind of up lined up perfectly for a great release, which we are extremely grateful for, and it’s doing amazing,” he said. “Actually, a Hitman game has never recouped its complete dev cost the first week, which we did, which was absolutely amazing.”
Abrak recently said IO Interactive received a number of “really attractive” acquisition offers following its split from former parent company Square Enix, but ultimately chose to go it alone.
IO is now working on an officially licensed James Bond game, with the working title Project 007.