Multiplayer modes aren’t mandatory for all games coming out nowadays, according to Hitman: Absolution Gameplay Director Christian Elverdam, but, if a studio decides to create an online mode, it needs to make sense within the franchise, like how IO Interactive is doing with the Contracts experience in Absolution.
Hitman: Absolution is out in November and it includes not just a top notch single-player experience in which players reprise the role of Agent 47, but also a special multiplayer mode called Contracts, in which players create their own scenarios by choosing levels, targets or weapons, and then sharing them with others online.
According to Elverdam, there was no pressure from Square Enix, the game’s publisher, to include a multiplayer mode in the experience, as the general consensus is that not all games can accommodate such a thing.
"The broader sense of synchronised multiplayer will always be tempting to investigate," he told Eurogamer. "But it needs to fit the franchise. 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."
According to Elverdam, Absolution’s Contracts mode fits the franchise and builds upon concepts already explored by fans for quite some time.
"We feel Contracts really does fit [Hitman]," Elverdam added. "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?'"
Elverdam concludes by saying that Contracts will deliver a social experience, “kind of like a YouTube channel,” which can be used by players to show off their skills.
Hitman: Absolution is out on November 20 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.