'Hitman: Blood Money' goes free-to-play in browsers via Core Online

Hitman: Blood Money, the 2006 installment the long-running series chronicling Agent 47, is now free-to-play in web browsers via the Core Online service.

Hitman: Blood Money, the 2006 installment of the long-running series chronicling Agent 47, is now free-to-play in web browsers via the Core Online service, Square Enix announced today.

Players can play the entire game for free in exchange for watching video advertisements. By choosing the ads they watch, players earn and bank game time that can be used over multiple play sessions. Ad averse players can purchase individual levels, or the entire game for $4.99.

The Core Online service is a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Group and requires an internet-connected computer running Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer browsers — although Hitman: Blood Money is incompatible with Macs. The Core Online website contains further details on the requirements.

"Square Enix is at the forefront of experimentation of new business and services models in the game industry," said Yoichi Wada, chief executive officer of Square Enix Holdings. "Through our Core Online technology service, users can access our content easily through the browser."

Blood Money's sequel, Hitman: Absolution, ran into some controversy earlier this year when a trailer featuring assassin nuns brought calls of insensitivity toward women. The game's director subsequently announced that the game had undergone changes as a result. Yesterday, Square Enix announced that the original voice actor, David Bateson, would reprise his role in Absolution.

The publisher announced that Lara Croft: Guardian of Light will make its way to the service, and the Core Online homepage lists Tomb Raider: Underworld and Gyromancer as coming soon. Before that happens, you can watch a new Hitman: Blood Money trailer below.

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