Warner Bros. announced today that they had a big announcement planned for Thursday, but, thanks to some publicly accessible website files, the mystery has already been solved. A file on Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's website shows a newly made Hitman 2 logo (above), which has since been removed. It shares a clean aesthetic that the critically acclaimed 2016 Hitman had, and it looks to be building upon its open-world stealth gameplay.
Hitman developer IO-Interactive recently regained their status as an independent developer after previously being owned by Square Enix. The studio, which reacquired their multiple intellectual properties, was vocal that they wanted to continue the series they're most well-known for, so it's not a surprise to see more Hitman. They originally planned to do a second season of content for the 2016 release, but it looks like they're going for a full-fledged sequel instead (or in addition to a new season).
While IO-Interactive and Warner Bros.' anticipated reveal may have already leaked, that doesn't mean that the reveal won't be worthwhile. Not only is it likely that the first gameplay of the new title will be seen, but the developer will likely show off what separates it from the 2016 release. If anything, there are more reasons to tune in.
Good afternoon, 47. The profiles have been uploaded. Your next target is... pic.twitter.com/0l1Tyu4gho— HITMAN (@Hitman) June 4, 2018
While the surprise has been spoiled early, it wasn't particularly difficult to figure out. Most expected the announcement to be Hitman 2 as developer IO-Interactive had teased an announcement for the same day (above). Plus, it was announced back in April of this year that Warner Bros. had signed a publishing deal for the stealth franchise after IO-Interactive regained its independence from Square Enix late last year. The first part of this publishing deal was bringing the 2016 release to retail with a new Definitive Edition release.
Considering how well received Hitman was (it won several game of the year awards), it makes a lot of sense that Warner Bros. would want to continue the fan-favorite franchise in a big way. It will be interesting to see if IO-Interactive continues the episodic release of the last game, or if they attempt to release a full product at once. From a gameplay perspective, it's certainly a great fit for episodic releases, but Square Enix wasn't happy with the overall sales and some consumers said they didn't purchase the game due to how it was formatted. Warner Bros. might very well be happier with a live service type game, though. Regardless of what happens, all of these answers will likely come on Thursday.