An Open Letter to IO Interactive, By Dylan Brotherston
Dear IO Interactive,
To begin Hitman was my favourite game of 2016, and this lead my to me(despite my normal convictions) pre-ordering the gold edition of Hitman 2, a decision that I now regret.
Hitman 2 is currently in a very problematic state being far more stable upon initial release that it is now. Stealth is broken, with trespassing not being a crime (for SA but it is for Sniper Assassin), Saving and Loading is broken, Scopes are broken, and many many more issues (many being reported within a week of release (on your official forum)) not being patched or even acknowledged. There is a large community outrage about “time limited content”. And to top it off there is next to no communication between the community and the dev team.
Upon writing there are 1.7k comments on your official bug report forum post, and a total of zero of them are from anybody from IOI. This game is broken, from the major bugs stated above to the plethora of smaller issues on every map, every console, and every playthrough. I cannot in any way see that a QA team, beta testers, or even the devs, have played the game in any capacity before release. The November patch fixed almost nothing despite having hundreds of reported bugs at the time and introduced the trespassing bug. The December patch again (compared to the number of bugs reported) fixed almost nothing and introduced the save/load bug and the scope bug. None of this is acceptable. Breaking a game in two such obvious ways is not something at any company of any product should ever do.
It’s appalling, hell, non-existent. The only communication the community has received is: 1. the December roadmap, that was very ambiguous (partly by design) and sparked many questions about updates and “time limited content” 2. patch notes, that are very non-technical and obviously incomplete. No IOI account is active on the forum, not a single reply as been made to any bug report, no released statements (apart from the patch notes) even acknowledge that there are bugs that need fixing. There are multiple forum posts about “time limited content”, game-play suggestions/improvements, and other game related questions, that have no interaction by an IOI account.
Time limited content:
It’s a ripoff. I run a Linux OS. fortunately I have a secondary Windows PC. If that didn’t exist and I would have to get the game after Faraxis did their magic, I would have to pay full price for less content as I did for Hitman(2016). Every elusive target missed should lower the cost of the game as you are objectively buying less content. There are many ways to make elusive targets stressful without the 10 day time limit. Eg: only first run count to leaderboards and achievements and only playable once a day; Done, fixed elusive targets. Holiday Hoarders being time limited is appalling, its forever available for Hitman(2016) and there better be something different next Christmas so your not going to reuse It, again make the suite time limited not the mission.
How to fix this mess:
- Communicate. If communication was done correctly nothing else would be an issue.
Acknowledge bugs and work with your community to find and fix them.
create a proper bug tracker (or use github) one thread per bug, with dev feedback on fix progression.
listen to community suggestions, hold polls about what in the game should change, and communicate about what will and wont change.
fix bugs, that’s right number 4 is bugs, everything else is more important.
get a god damn QA team, hell open up a user driven beta testing team, but GET QA.
work in new content, we all know that at least some of the IOI team is working on new content.
Get them to stop, fix all the bugs, implement community feedback about the current game, and THEN work on new content.
As this is an open letter I feel it is only right to use my real name.
This letter expresses MY FEELINGS about how IO Interactive and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment have handled the release of Hitman 2 and the design decisions that were made.
© Post "An Open Letter to IO Interactive" for game Hitman 2.
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