Would I like them to stick around? Sure, for selfish reasons of wanting to play them again, I'd love to be able to play them all after the fact. But I disagree with the arguments put forward how this isn't good for the game in terms of team resources and think it's in fact a masterstroke of a cost effective way of keeping a single player game relevant for a long time and funding other expansions.
Fact is with RDR2, F76 and other games popping up all around H2's release, and beyond Ghost Mode (more maps pls!) Hitman 2 being an otherwise single player and slightly more niche game, we know it hasn't sold close to the figures Hitman 1 did over its lifetime, and player retention on this kind of game is not forever, and once people stop playing, it's game over. So I'm just praying that H2 sells enough and makes enough to keep the series going, and to fund future new maps and other content.
Elusive Targets do something important. They bring everyone to the game at once, over a limited window of time. I'm not playing much H2 at the moment, I'm waiting for more Ghost maps, however you can bet your ass that during the window of next Elusive Target I'll be logging on, playing it, watching youtube videos on it, talking about it, popular streamers will be streaming it. The press will be covering it. As an indie dev I know fine well that the result of increased activity of players is more sales. I myself bought Hitman 1 due to press coverage of an Elusive Target bringing Hitman into my line of sight, wasn't that into the earlier games, and if it weren't for that I'd likely not have bought the sequel. Lifetime fan made here.
People complain about the amount of resources spent on this kind of content, but really it's not a lot in the grand scheme of things. Look at Sean Bean's. It's a few hundred lines of dialogue recorded, a character modeller creating a single character, a bit more custom art, and some level scripting to add in the patrol routes, cutscenes and kill methods. Compared to an entire Hitman 2 location this is NOTHING and they likely have tools to script this all in pretty quickly considering how much of it is in the rest of the game. No to mention other Elusive Targets will likely be less work than this one and unlikely to have as expensive voice actor and likeness, since the Undying was very much part of the launch marketing campaign.
However, the amount of extra sales these will bring in, the amount of extra life and attention it'll give Hitman 2, will be much greater than the development costs. And I would very much assume could be done with a small number of the overall development team.
So why not let them be playable after, but only time lock the rewards?
I don't really care about custom suits and the like. If they let Elusive Targets remain unlocked to play, but without the rewards, I may well end up pooling them up to play in a long sequence later instead of dropping into them as they appear. While I'm sure many here would play them during the window for the rewards, MANY wouldn't. Them ending is important in this regard as it encourages everyone to contribute to a critical mass of attention on the game which will spread to new players, because at the end of the day, even if people want the unlockables, it's new CONTENT that gets us excited, so we're less likely to miss it purely for the new gameplay experiences we would otherwise miss forever, than we would for a costume.
Also, if people can play it again as many times as they want once completing it, they are not encouraged to go and engage with videos and streamers to see other ways it could pan out, or to discuss it on social media to find out how others did the deed, they would in fact likely avoid it so they could discover them themselves. Again, important to get the community engaging on youtube and twitch and encourage more buzz to bring in more players. It's all about the event itself and it has to be all or nothing or the benefits will be diluted and fall short of the critical mass they want to put Hitman 2 in front of new faces every month or so for years.
I'd rather they did this and I don't get to play that content again, if it means more funds and a more healthy player base, and player retention, so I can see more permanent expansions to new locations and (GHOST MODE SUPPORT ON OTHER MAPS PLS ;)) .
© Post "My perspective on Elusive Targets" for game Hitman 2.
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