A series of new job listings at Hitman developer Io Interactive suggest that the studio's upcoming James Bond game is still in the very earliest stages of development.
14 job listings attached to Project 007 were recently posted to the developer's website, with roles ranging from specialist animation all the way up to gameplay director. While roles like AI programmer, rigger, and gameplay animator are the kind of job you could expect IO to be hiring for throughout the development process, others suggest that the company is still looking for the members of staff who will shape the game throughout the entire cycle.
A listing for a senior concept artist asks for someone to "build out this exciting and unique project," and "establish" the game's style. The lead cinematic animator role will "define the standard for cinematic animation at every stage, from concept [...] to actual animations that get implemented in the game."
Most notable is the fact that Io is still looking for Project 007's gameplay director, who will be "an instrumental part of creating, presenting and maintaining the vision and overall quality of the game." A position as senior as this isn't one that a studio would be looking to fill partway through the development process, suggesting that Io is only just beginning work on its James Bond game.
That would, of course, make sense given what little we know about the game so far. Io only announced Project 007, an origin story for the world's most famous secret agent, in November 2020. That teaser trailer features what's presumably a placeholder title, and featured nothing by way of gameplay. With the studio still wrapping up work on Hitman 3, due to release in just a few weeks on January 20, that comes as no surprise, but together with these job listings, it means we could be waiting several years for 007's next virtual outing.
Interestingly, Io is also hiring for another, unannounced project, with roles open for that game's executive producer, gameplay director, and senior producer, among others. It's anybody's guess what that new title might be, but several of the listings are for multiplayer specialists, and the gameplay director role confirms that it'll be a multiplayer title of some kind. The Hitman series has online elements, but is primarily a single-player experience, so it'll be interesting to see what else Io has up its sleeve.
No matter how long it takes them, Io Interactive is the perfect home for 007.