Though Hitman: Absolution, the long-awaited next entry in the popular stealth action franchise, won’t be available until some time next year, Square Enix may already be planning for the future based on its success. It might not necessarily be the next entry in the franchise, but Square Enix Europe has filed a trademark for something called Hitman: Profession.
It would be quite a stretch to imagine that Square Enix was already betting on Hitman: Absolution being a success, even though the trailers for the game look pretty spectacular. But, as we’ve learned from situations like the Modern Warfare 3 site, it’s sometimes better to secure your properties early than have to fight for them later.
Since merging with Eidos, Square Enix has made it very clear that they plan on growing new and old IPs into powerhouse franchises for the publisher/developer. This next year will see the release of Tomb Raider and Hitman, but those are only the beginning.
The other possibility that seems reasonable for what Hitman: Profession ends up being is a piece of DLC for Absolution. Over the past couple years, Square Enix has become more accustomed to the idea of post-release DLC, and Hitman seems like another perfect fit. The real question is whether or not DLC for Hitman will be a substantial new gameplay experience or some add-ons.
The most likely scenario is that Square Enix is planning some sort of social media experience, like the Resistance Facebook game, that will either run concurrent to Absolution or lead up to its release. There’s officially no release date for Absolution just yet, so perhaps this Hitman: Profession experience was a spur of the moment type thing.
Obviously it’s up to Square Enix to break what exactly Hitman: Profession is, but just its trademark should certainly get gamers speculating. If Hitman: Profession does end up becoming something besides a placeholder, we’ll make sure to keep you posted.
What do you think Hitman: Profession will end up being? Do you think that Square Enix should already be thinking sequel before Hitman: Absolution releases?