Hitman pre-orders being pulled and revoked, Square Enix says 'don't panic'

The upcoming Hitman game - creatively dubbed "Hitman" - is disappearing from the PlayStation Store. Pre-order pages no longer exist, and those who managed to claim a copy before the removal are finding their pre-orders cancelled. The Hitman Twitter account has stated that the game is still set for a March 11 release date, so what's going on here?

According to the pop-up message when customers are notified that their pre-order has been cancelled, the "configuration of the product ... has changed significantly." The message also promises that a "revised" pre-order will be available soon. Developer IO Interactive said on Twitter that the team is "adjusting a few things and will update in a few days."

If I had to guess, I'd say this has something to do with Hitman's quasi-episodic, on-a-disc-someday structure. As originally announced at E3 2015, the plan was to launch with a small amount of content and release new missions, locations, and targets over time. That changed when the game was delayed to March 11, and more launch content was planned.

Given that the pre-order cancellations seem limited to PlayStation owners but the game is slated for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, I'd wager something about this release structure conflicts with Sony's Terms and Conditions. Remember, out of the three platforms Hitman is launching on, the PS4 is the only one without some sort of early access program. Square Enix and IO Interactive may need to restructure around that. Or, it could be something to do with the Hitman beta, which was scheduled to hit PS4 first - if pre-orders were tied to said beta and plans have changed, that could be another reason for the revocation.

Or, I could be totally wrong and it's actually being postponed because Agent 47 has become sentient and they need to scale back the game's AI a bit. I'm not a scientist, people.

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Hi! My name's Sam Prell. I'm a games journalist with a soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and puppies. I also unironically like Todd McFarlane's Spawn. May the '90s never die!
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