I Think I Killed 'Hitman'


How irrational buying habits kept me away from one of last year's greatest games.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/i-think-i-killed-hitman


I have still not yet bought Dark Souls 3 because even as it goes 50% off, I think…

There’s no point just buying the base game, I’ll want the DLC too.
But then with the DLC, even at 50% off it’s practically a full priced game (€45).
I don’t generally buy games at full release price because it’s too pricey, so I just keep shelving it as a game to buy later.


Yeah I didn’t skip out on Hitman because of a consumer hang-up I skipped out on it because it’s been a long time since I had the $$$ to drop $60 on on more than one or two games a year. Anything else gotta wait til it’s way less.


I think that the biggest shame of people not picking up HITMAN from the whole episodic content angle is that I genuinely believe that was the best way to experience the game.

It may have been doled out piece by piece, but it really let you deep dive into a level and focus on mastering the intricacies of all the hidden opportunities and gameplay secrets, by the time the next episode came out, you were the top kid in the playground and everything in that level was pretty much figured out, giving you even cooler toys for the next mission, where you’d start out fresh with the same basic rules, but changing the situation up entirely by making you deal with huge crowds, or tightly locked down areas filled with militia soldiers - for the most part every new level felt fresh (I wasn’t a huge fan of Marrakesh but I loved all the others).

The little teasing bits of story that bookended each episode also added a lot. I’m not super invested in the lore or anything, but it was a fun little dessert when you finished up a level.

I really hope that the series continues on in some fashion, as HITMAN was a satisfying and great experience, and an excellent return to form.


This is the precise reason I couldn’t ‘support’ it either. I don’t think we have ourselves to blame for that. If anybody should’ve known better it’s SE’s market analysts. I don’t know the going ons but i suspect the board room meetings weren’t exactly long term oriented.


Don’t worry, I bought the game twice.


I skipped out on Hitman because of a different hang up. I wanted a physical copy. I heard the physical version was coming in 2017 so I ended up waiting instead. But when the physical version finally released, there were other games that I wanted more than Hitman and it went to the back burner.


A consumer feeling in any way “responsible” for the commercial failure of a product strikes me as really, really silly.

The piece even gets close to pinpointing the actual problem (the arcane delivery method and marketing for the game confused people a lot). The game also wasn’t promoted very much (and strategically, how do you promote a game that releases in tiny pieces over a year, without spending a bajillion dollars advertising for each episode?), which is a fact that’s thrown into stark contrast when you consider Square-Enix spent god knows how much on a Wrestlemania partnership for Final Fantasy XIV, a six year old game with a forthcoming expansion.

My point; if the game is good (according to most, it very was), then there’s really only one entity that can be reasonably held responsible for its sales performance; the company that sold and marketed the game. Captialism is fucked enough already without people jumping in front of bullets for Squeenix.


I really liked the idea of Hitman’s episodic model, but it just didn’t jive with my psychology and life circumstances. I had little free time and no money when Hitman was initially coming out, and I had plenty of games to play already. I have the intention of playing Hitman some day, as I do with many games, but with a backlog as vast and rich as mine it takes a lot for me to put aside the all-time classics that I still need to get to in order to focus on something new and shiny.

BUT ALSO, I had assumed that Hitman was selling really well, based on all of the buzz I heard about the game throughout that year. I had the full expectation that this series would still be continuing for the forseeable future, so I didn’t see it as a smaller project in need of sales and advocacy.

My personal “irrational hang-up about our brave new video game economy” is that I just don’t do lootboxes. It’s one of my few hard rules. I took psych, I know what a skinner box is, and I want no part of it. I play games because I actually enjoy playing them, you don’t need to artificially addict me to your game, I’m good.

But because of this, all of those sick-looking Overwatch skins are completely closed off to me. I’ve put well over 200 hours into that game and sometimes I look at that number of the hundreds of lootboxes I have unopened and think about the skins I could be having. But it’s not worth it.


This article also encapsulates my remorse


Money was a part of my decision to wait, but I was also turned off by the design of the elusive targets.

The thought of paying for a game and being completely unable to access a piece of content because of missing an arbitrary window seemed too much.


Honestly Hitman had always been this kind of game for me? It was a “good” series I always was on a rent-only basis. I wonder how common that was and how that affected others.


In the end we were the true Hitman. As a collector i was out, since no physical copy day 1. I’m not a fan of episodic games, i wait till everything is out. I don’t feel bad about not buying the game. Sucks for IO


Well I’m one of those that bought it because I got frustrated from watching them play on Giantbomb. So if they found a way to share that frustration they could’ve made bank.


I bought it, chugged through the tutorial area and then got a refund on Steam when it became clear that my computer was not up to the task of rendering Paris at any kind of tenable frame rate. if I had money I might have hung on to it just to get the sale price but I’m relying on Steam gift cards these days. still I can’t help but feel responsible for putting the razor wire to it’s throat.


It’s okay, Rob. You’re not alone. I’m guilty for the same reasons.

I saw a tweet the other day that the best way to completely lose interest in a movie is to add it to your Netflix queue; I think there may be a similar connection for my wishlists. Worst culprit right now might be Dishonored 2. I KNOW I’ll enjoy it; love the world, love the characters, all the reviews and Let’s Plays look hot, but… It’s going to be there until I can justify not buying it because it’s “too old.”


Irrational selling habits is what killed the game. Most devs and publishers abandoned episodic content years before Hitman came out because it was a bad business decision. It’s their own fault, so screw 'em.

Sad to see a great franchise destroyed by an awful publisher.


This is so true, and I think your point about Steam wishlists could hold up as well, but why is it true?? Similarly, I can also sink hours into a game, only to be completely distracted by something knew and shiny. And so I leave my old favorite cold and alone for weeks until I get the whim to play again. I guess this is the point of websites like Backloggery (and good for them), but what is going on with our culture that we always behave this way? It feels sad and unfortunate tbh


This reminds me of something people always say about ideas for projects. Don’t tell someone what the idea is, because then you’ve gotten the mental reward of sharing your idea.

I feel like there’s a similar mentality of shelving a game as “I’ll look into/play this later.” and then it just vanishing out of your brain because you don’t need to think about it then, since you decided you’d get back to it later.


I thought it was the episodic release that was stopping me from jumping in but now that “season 1” is out I realized my problem was with the elusive targets. I know that’s only a small part of the total package, it still feels like I’m being punished for waiting by taking that content away from me.

Also, going forward as new targets are released, I’d feel some weird obligation to complete them even after I’d finished the game. It’s like a TV show that had a narrative ending then went on for a couple more seasons: I don’t have to watch this, it’s not really adding anything meaningful, but I’m in too deep to stop now. Plus, I already paid for it so I should get my money’s worth and if I don’t do it now it’ll be gone forever.

It turns the question away from “Is this worth the money?” to “Do I feel good about buying this?” Unfortunately, that answer is no, this isn’t something I want to subscribe to and worry about until I finally manage to break that habit.