According to Videogamer, who spotted the LinkedIn profile of Richard Knight, a senior game designer for Square Enix Montreal, it looks like the next-gen Hitman game has been cancelled. Knight’s profile says the “Hitman Project (Next-Gen Consoles/Current Gen/PC)” has been cancelled, and that he is “Prototyping games in short dev cycles for Tablet Devices.” Square Enix Montreal was reportedly supposed to alternate with IO Interactive on the Hitman franchise, but now it looks as if that won’t be happening. Square has previously announced that IO Interactive would be downsized, but has also confirmed that the studio was “in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project.” It’s unclear if this was a different game from the one cancelled at Square Enix Montreal, or if the reins were simply handed over to IO Interactive. Stay tuned for more on this story. UPDATE: Polygon has received confirmation that IO Interactive is working on a new AAA Hitman title for next-gen consoles and the PC. The statement from Square Enix is as follows: “IO-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise. We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year.”
More departures from mega-publisher EA occurred, making it the third round of departures within a week. Earlier, Dave Roberts, chief of Plants vs. Zombies developer PopCap, left, followed by two of the founders of Criterion Studios, Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry. Now they’re followed by two founders of the mobile publisher Chillingo. According to MCV, Chris Byatte and Joe Wee have left the studio that they founded in 2005. Among the franchises that the duo has helped launch are Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Chillingo had been acquired by EA in 2010 for a reported $20 million. No reason has been give n for the pair’s departure.
In other news concerning departing personnel, game designer Clint Hocking has left Valve after being there for only 18 months, reports GameInformer, citing updated career information on Hocking’s personal website and his LinkedIn account. Hocking had formerly been with LucasArts and Ubisoft. He first made his name at Ubisoft working on Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory as creative director, and joined LucasArts in 2010, where he worked on “unannounced projects.” He left before the studio folded and joined Valve in 2012. Hocking has not given a reason for his departure.
The juggernaut that is Grand Theft Auto V continues to roll on. Rockstar’s latest is now officially the fourth biggest selling game of all time in the UK according to ChartTrack. The company also predicts that the game will claim the top spot within three months. GTA V has already become the UK’s fastest selling title, beating out the previous record held by GTA IV, and has also gone on to secure seven World Guinness records. The game reportedly has “substantial story DLC” on the way and could be ported to both the PC and next-gen consoles, both of which could only increase its already substantial sales figures.
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