Update 18/01 – IO Interactive and Epic have both tweeted and updated their messaging surrounding this issue. IO have now stated that while they are working on a solution, they “guarantee that players will not need to repurchase the games.”
— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 17, 2021
It’s not clear what that solution will be, and for the time being the initial situation remains: Hitman 1 GOTY will be free for those buying within the first 10 days, and for anyone that owns Hitman 1 via Epic Games Store. Hitman 2 will be available with an 80% discount. There are currently no free access passes for versions of these games owned via Steam.
The original article follows:
With the launch of Hitman 3 next week, IO Interactive have detailed everything you need to know about carrying forward your progression and importing previously purchased content from Hitman and Hitman 2 into the new game for free. Unfortunately for PC gamers, there’s a sting in the tail which could be seen as a broken promise.
Hitman 3’s release on the Epic Games Store (a timed exclusive) will not be able to grant free access to Hitman or Hitman 2 purchases made on Steam, partly because Hitman 2 simply isn’t available on EGS.
Instead IO Interactive have cooked up the following compromise:
- The Hitman 1 GOTY Access Pass will be available to claim in the first 10 days after launch for anyone who purchases (or has pre-ordered) any edition of Hitman 3 on Epic Games Store.
- Owners of Hitman 1 on EGS (including all players who claimed it when it was available for free in August) will get a free upgrade to the Hitman 1 GOTY Access Pass at any time after purchasing Hitman 3.
- The Hitman 2 Standard Access Pass and Hitman 2 Gold Access Pass will be 80% off for 14 days after the launch of Hitman 3 on Epic Games Store and will continue to be discounted regularly.
It’s not clear what the price of the Hitman 2 access passes will be, but even so, this is a real shame for those players of previous games. On the plus side, that’s great for total newcomers to the game on the platform, who will be able to snag a ton of older levels on the cheap.
On PlayStation and Xbox, the process is clearer. Any content you have from Hitman 2 is possible to be imported, with Hitman 1 having to first be redeemed for Hitman 2 (even if it’s just the free Starter Pack) before it can make the jump to Hitman 3. See the full details here.
While disappointing for PC gamers, it feels like IOI have been trapped between their promises and marketing pitches to fans of being able to carry everything forward, and the realities of their publishing and marketing partnerships. That’s not to excuse them making the promise in the first place, but to a certain extent these will have taken this eventual decision out of their hands. Hitman was released when they were a part of Square Enix, while Hitman 2 then came after regaining independence and in a new partnership with Warner Bros., before Hitman 3 has seen them go independent but with Square Enix distributing the game.
Correction: Hitman 3 is self-published by IO Interactive, with a distribution deal with Square Enix.
While many consider PC to be an overarching platform, when it comes to purchasing and owning games, Epic Games Store and Steam have to be seen as competing rivals, much in the same way as PlayStation and Xbox are. The Warner Bros. published Hitman 2 simply isn’t available on the Epic Games Store, and while IO do obviously have all the play time and progression data on their servers, that’s a very different level of proof compared to being able to chart ownership through an account on a storefront.
It’s hardly the first time that an Epic Games Store exclusivity deal has riled up a fanbase, and as in all the previous cases, there is at least the understanding that this timed exclusive deal will expire in a year’s time and the game will surely come to Steam.
Source: IO Interactive