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Report: Next-gen Hitman canceled, studio working on new action title (update)

A "re-imagining" of the Hitman franchise for next-gen and current-gen consoles in development at Square Enix Montreal was quietly canceled last year, according to the LinkedIn profile of senior game designer Richard Knight.

Knight's profile lists the game as "Hitman Project (Next-Gen Consoles/Current Gen/PC) — Canceled." The LinkedIn profile of designer Heath Smith states the game, which was announced as in-development back in 2011, would be a "re-imagining" of the series and include both first-person and third-person combat sequences. Network engineer Anthony Pressacco also suggests on his profile that the next-gen Hitman title would have included online leaderboard support and microtransactions.

Last June, along with the announcement of leadership changes at Square Enix Montreal, the studio revealed a new AAA Hitman title was in the works with Square Enix subsidiary IO Interactive. The Montreal studio also announced it would begin shifting focus to mobile development.

Additionally, Smith's profile lists an "unannounced AAA third-person action adventure" title for Playstation 4 and Xbox One. This could be the next-gen Deus Ex title in development with Eidos Montreal, which the studio announced was in the pipeline last October.

Update: A representative from Square Enix told Polygon that a new Hitman game is in development at IO Interactive, while Square Enix Montreal will stick to its plan of focusing on mobile.

"Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise," the representative said. "We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."

We asked what game Knight was talking about specifically and if there was any possibility it meant the project had switched hands from Square Enix Montreal to IO. We will share more details as we have them.

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