Hitman dev: standard multiplayer "always tempting", but must fit franchise

Single-player-only games here to stay, IO believes.

Hitman: Absolution developer IO Interactive has said that, while standard multiplayer deathmatch modes were "always tempting", such offerings must always feel appropriate to the game in question.

"The broader sense of synchronised multiplayer will always be tempting to investigate," Hitman: Absolution gameplay director Christian Elverdam told Eurogamer. "But it needs to fit the franchise."

But there was no reason to say games must include a multiplayer mode as a requirement, he added.

"If you look at the games industry right now, there's no silver bullet game saying: 'only multiplayer games from now on!' or 'only single-player games'. I think The Elder Scrolls is an example of game that did very well as a single-player game."

EA exec Frank Gibeau recently suggested that all games must move from a "packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it", explaining earlier comments that he does not green light single-player-only games.

"If you look at the future I think players will be looking for social connectivity," Elverdam reasoned, in response to Gibeau's quote. "We want to see what our friends are doing. Even if you're a single-player guy who doesn't like twitch-reactions or synchronised multiplayer."

"[But] there also exists a group of people who like to take things at their own pace. In Hitman there's obviously a story, but it's also about playing around with the AI. And that can be a real single-player experience."

Absolution offers its own take on multiplayer: the challenge based mode Contracts, where players can build levels and set targets for their friends to beat.

"We feel Contracts really does fit [Hitman]," Elverdam said, adding that there had been no pressure to include multiplayer component in the game.

"We have a legacy with Hitman that's unique - it's this contemporary social stealth sandbox. [Contracts is] a way of sharing your creativity, in a morbid sense. It's actually inspired by the fans who started do this with Hitman: Blood Money, writing on forums saying 'what if this guy was the target?'"

"So, Contracts is a multiplayer mode if you like, but also a social mode. It's kind of like a YouTube channel, you can use it to show off."

Contracts mode in action.

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