After the surprise release of Hitman: Game of the Year edition on Good Old Games, there was instant backlash as players discovered anti-piracy DRM. The game required an internet connection to play features like Escalation missions and User Created Contracts, thereby rendering non-essential but beloved elements of the game unplayable without a connection. GOG’s anti-DRM policy likely also fueled the backlash, as the popular storefront is more or less the one major place to buy PC games without DRM requirements. The fact that some features were locked behind an online requirement, but the game was advertised as playable without an internet connection, was broadly seen as deceitful by the community.
GOG users expressed their frustration, in the usual internet fashion, on the forums and by review bombing the title. Just a few weeks later, a spokesperson announced in the GOG forums that the company has removed the title from the storefront. The GOG team agreed that the game should not have been released in its current state. The spokesperson also apologized for the “anger and hurt” caused, and expressed appreciation for the community’s passion in addressing the problem, though it was “honest to the bone.” Earlier in the debacle, the same representative emphasized that “while we’re open for meritful discussion and feedback, we will not tolerate review bombing and will be removing posts that do not follow our review guidelines.”
The spokesperson emphasizes that they are “in dialogue” with IO interactive about the release, though it is as yet unknown if the title will still find a home on the storefront.
As for other games in the franchise, Hitman 2 was recently free on PS Plus and Hitman 3 remains, for the time being, an PC Epic Games Store Exclusive. Developer IO Interactive has moved on to a mysterious James Bond project.
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