Hitman won't arrive in retail stores until January 2017, Square Enix confirmed. The physical version of the PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One game was originally planned to launch by the end of this year. The publisher did not provide a reason for the delay.
The next entry in developer Io Interactive's stealth action franchise will launch digitally tomorrow, March 11, as originally planned. At launch, players will have access to the game's first episode, however; Square Enix will release Hitman piecemeal throughout the year, with the full game set to be available at the end of 2016.
The disc release, when it does hit retailers, will include the complete version of the game. That comprises the game's prologue mission, which tells the origins of Agent 47, as well as six total playable locations.
Hitman fans who don't want to wait for the physical release can buy the full game digitally from the jump; it costs $59.99. Otherwise, players can download an intro pack, which includes the prologue and a map based on Paris, for $15.
Additional locations will arrive in the coming months for $10 each. The first of these — Sapienza, Italy — will be available in April, to be followed by Marrakesh, Morocco in May. Square Enix said that a total of seven episodes will see release by 2016's end.
We've reached out to Square Enix about the cause for the physical release of Hitman's delay and will update accordingly.
Update: A representative of Square Enix explained why the disc version of Hitman has been pushed.
"This year is all about delivering the best episodic experience for Hitman and that takes us to Autumn/Fall," they told Polygon. "Releasing the disc version in January just makes sure we have enough time after the season concludes to dedicate to getting the best disc version of the game out."