[Update] Report: Hitman Project Canceled
Update: Square Enix has provided us with a statement about the current state of the Hitman franchise, which points to Hitman being alive and well at least in some form at Square Enix Montreal.
"There's a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion," a Square Enix representative wrote. "Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise. We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."
Cancellation news is almost never good news, but a report that a Hitman project at Square Eidos Montreal has been canceled might not be as big of a blow as you think.
The Linkedin profile of Square Enix Montreal senior game designer Richard Knight lists that the studio's "Hitman Project" for next-gen/current-gen consoles and PC has been canceled. Back in 2011, it was announced that Square Enix Montreal would help series creators IO Interactive with the franchise, but at the time no specifics were outlined.
As for IO Interactive itself, last summer it announced that it was starting pre-production on a "new AAA Hitman project" despite layoffs at the studio.
We may never know exactly what Square Enix Montreal's project entailed, but speculation is that this move is more of a continuation of Square Enix's attempts to get its internal house in order more than another downturn.