Wednesday last week I was invited to visit the IO Interactive headquarters in the great city of Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the Hitman community day. Thirteen fans from around the world were invited to play Contracts Mode and get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of Hitman: Absolution. After a tour through the entire IO building and playing Contracts Mode for a full afternoon, this great day concluded with a drink with the very down-to-earth developers of Hitman: Absolution (including Tore Blystadt, Game Director and Roberto Marchesi, Art Director).
The day started with us being welcomed by a statue of Kane and Lynch, as well as Community Managers Nick and Travis. We were given a full tour through the beautiful IO building situated quite close to the Copenhagen Harbour Baths, with a beautiful view over the river (did you know that the office at the end of Blood Money is based on the IO office?). We got to see IO's gaming room, where the developers let off their steam after a hard day of work, as well as the
War Love Room and a room filled with concept art, among others.
After the tour, Tore Blystadt, the Game Director of Hitman: Absolution, gave us a presentation on the earliest stages of development of what was then known simply as "Hitman 5" (or "Hitman Subtitle" in some concept arts, they should've sticked to that!). We learned some interesting facts and saw three early concept videos that depicted Agent 47 as the "Angry Man" set in a Sin City-like movie, and as a homeless man with a three-legged dog living on the streets of Chicago. Tore also talked about the controversy surrounding The Saints (the nuns you've seen in the trailers), and how Rasmus Højengaard actually intended for them to be in Blood Money.
We had a delicious lunch after the presentation, and we then went to the console room where we finally got to play the game itself. The developers had prepared the first five missions of single player (which I avoided, as I wanted to absolutely avoid any spoilers) and Contracts mode. You can read more about Contracts mode in my Gamescom preview.
After an afternoon of playing Contracts, we went to have with dinner with several of Absolution's developers (and the Sniper Challenge developers). After we held a very difficult Hitman Trivia Quiz (which the guys from hitmanforums.com nailed) we concluded this great day by going to a local bar to have a few beers (and to attempt to squeeze some more details from the developers, which failed).
All in all, this was a truly an amazing day, and I want to thank Nick and Travis and all the guys over at IO for this great opportunity.