Newly independent developer IO Interactive just so happens to own one of the biggest franchises in gaming with Hitman. Now Hitman Lead Writer Michael Vogt is taking advantage of this by releasing an official “expanded universe storyline” called Overachievers.
The story, featuring several new characters, is about a Christmas party at a social media company. Of course, this being a Hitman story, you can expect everything will go A-okay and that nothing bad will happen – except for murder and bombing, that is. Fan favorite character Diana shows up and there’s even a brief cameo from the bald killer himself, Agent 47. You can read the story at IO Interactive’s blog.
What’s more interesting about this is the blog post accompanying the story. According to the developer, the team writes stories like this all the time: “The team of writers at IOI write short stories like this as a way to explore different themes, genres and scenarios that are not normally part of the game’s experience, sort of like fan-fiction.” The post also states that stories like these are never posted to the public, but they’re making an exception for this one as a sort of holiday gift.
It’s small, but the release of this story could indicate a shift in philosophy for IO Interactive after Square Enix cut the studio from their business and sold the intellectual property rights to Hitman back to them. That means IO Interactive is now technically an indie studio and they have complete control over everything related to Hitman, including short stories like Overachievers.
What the future of the beloved franchise holds is anyone’s guess, but if this is any indication, IO is interested in doing things differently. Or this could be a one-off they decided to share out of the blue. Still, it seems unlikely Square Enix would have allowed them to share internal documents like this with the public. Either way, it’s a good reminder that interesting things are coming Hitman’s way in the future, and it’s a good read to boot.