IO Interactive’s plans to allow Windows PC players of Hitman 3 the “seamless” importation of Hitman and Hitman 2 into the new game have hit a snag — but the developer and its PC distribution partner, Epic Games, have promised to figure out a solution.
Hitman 2 is available on Steam but not on the Epic Games Store, where the PC version of Hitman 3 will be sold exclusively for one year following its Jan. 20 launch. In August, when IO announced the timed Epic Games Store exclusive for Hitman 3, the studio said that PC players would be able to “import locations from the previous two games into Hitman 3 on Epic Games Store,” an option that would also be available on PlayStation and Xbox. (Players must export levels from 2016’s Hitman into Hitman 2 before importing them into Hitman 3, and that’s where the issue arises on PC.)
“Due to various circumstances out of our control,” IO said in an announcement on Friday, it’s currently impossible for PC owners of the first two games to link them up and bring their locations into Hitman 3 as intended. IO had planned to offer a workaround, sort of, for the two weeks following Hitman 3’s launch: Owners of Hitman 2 on Steam would have to re-buy the game’s levels, at a discount, in order to import them into Hitman 3.
- First, the Hitman GOTY Access Pass will be available, free, for anyone who owns Hitman 3 on Epic Games Store. It will remain free for the first 10 days after launch for those who buy (or pre-order) Hitman 3.
- Next, existing owners of Hitman on the Epic Games Store — including those who picked the game up for free when it was available in August — get a free Hitman GOTY Access Pass upon buying Hitman 3.
- Then, the Hitman 2 Standard and Gold Access Passes will be offered at 80% off for the 14 days after Hitman 3’s launch on Epic Games Store “and will continue to be discounted regularly,” said IO. The studio has yet to price any of the access passes, which deliver Hitman and Hitman 2’s content into the third game.
But after a widespread outcry from PC players — for instance, upset fans on ResetEra who said they planned to file for refunds and/or wait the year out until Hitman 3 launches on Steam — IO and Epic announced on Jan. 17 that they’re working to make things right.
“We are continuing to work on a solution with our partners to allow PC players who own HITMAN 1 or HITMAN 2 to import locations from those games into HITMAN 3 at no additional cost,” said IO in an update to its announcement post. “We can guarantee that players will NOT need to repurchase the games.” The studio said it expected to provide that solution “in the coming weeks.”
Epic Games quote-tweeted IO’s update and added, “We never want players to feel forced to repurchase content on the Epic Game Store that they bought on another PC store so they can access features in a new game.”
We never want players to feel forced to repurchase content on the Epic Game Store that they bought on another PC store so they can access features in a new game.— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) January 17, 2021
We are working closely with IO Interactive and you will be able to access past content from earlier HITMAN games. https://t.co/1MAT1O0Nly
As for carrying forward progress and unlocked items from Hitman and Hitman 2, that is accomplished through an IO Interactive website, and isn’t affected by Hitman 2’s unavailability on the Epic Games Store.
Polygon has reached out to an IO representative for more insight on how much this will cost, and additional comment about the snafu. Hitman 3 launches Jan. 20 on Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. For more on Hitman 3, check out our hands-on impressions of the first two missions.
Update (Jan. 18): IO Interactive and Epic Games announced Sunday that they are working together on a solution for customers who own Hitman and/or Hitman 2 on PC and want to import those games’ levels into Hitman 3. “We can guarantee that players will NOT need to repurchase the games,” said IO. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.
This would bring the PC version of Hitman 3 in line with the console versions, where importing levels from the previous two games is free as long as you’re staying within the PlayStation or Xbox platforms.