IO Interactive has some good news and some bad news for Hitman 3 fans. Let’s start with the bad news: Freelancer, the solo mode that was set to offer an array of new assassination campaigns for players and a customizable safe house for Agent 47, won’t make its previously announced release window of spring 2022. Instead, it’s now scheduled to arrive “in the second half of 2022,” the studio announced Thursday.
Hitman 3’s phenomenal sales — the game generated record-breaking revenues and profits for IO within its first few months on the market, making 2020-21 the most successful fiscal year in the company’s 23-year history — have given IO the luxury of pushing back the Freelancer mode, according to the studio. “We’re able to give our team that extra time to tighten the bolts and make sure that the mode is as close to our ambitions as possible,” IO said in a blog post.
Describing the Freelancer mode as “quite expansive and involving,” IO said, “We see HITMAN 3: Freelancer as the next evolution of Hitman and an entirely new way to engage with the world and characters that we’ve built into the World of Assassination over the last 7 years.” The studio announced in January that the World of Assassination trilogy, which began in 2016 with the franchise reboot Hitman, has garnered more than 50 million players.
As a result of the Freelancer delay, IO has shuffled the timing of some of the other items on its 2022 calendar — and here, the news is mostly good. The first new map since Hitman 3’s launch in January 2021 is now coming ahead of schedule, in July. It’s called Ambrose Island, and the island in question appears to be a tropical one, as you can see in the screenshot above. As usual, IO is offering limited details at this time, but said that the mission set there “takes place before the events of HITMAN 3 and fills in a few gaps from the World of Assassination storyline.”
Hitman 3’s next patch was previously scheduled for April and will now be released on May 24, so players will have to wait a bit longer for fresh content. But on the plus side, that v3.110 update will bring ray tracing support to the Windows PC version of the game, in addition to adding new content such as a contract and unlockable weapon in the Elusive Target Arcade mode. For more on what’s on the docket for May, check out the schedule in the image below.