Normally, release date announces come in emails specifically about that subject. "Such-and-Such-3's Release Date Announced," is typically how the subject lines run. Square Enix elected to go a different route for the launch time of Hitman: Absolution.
The news came to us by way of emailed press release. The subject line?
SQUARE ENIX Announces HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE
Hitman: Sniper Challenge is actually "a stand-alone experience to reward fans who pre-order HITMAN: ABSOLUTION." That bit also comes by way of the same press release. If you're interested in Hitman: Sniper Challenge, hit the fancy-pants button at the base of this post to see the full release. Or, you can watch the announcement trailer at the head of this post.
The previously unannounced launch date for Hitman: Absolution was sitting in the first paragraph the the presser. As nonchalant as them come, the line reads like this:
HITMAN: ABSOLUTION will be available on November 20, 2012 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
The rest of the email is dedicated to convincing us to pre-order the next in Agent 47's tale.
SQUARE ENIX, INC. AND GAMESTOP PUT THE CROSSHAIRS
ON HITMAN: ABSOLUTION WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF GROUNDBREAKING
Players Who Pre-Order HITMAN: ABSOLUTION at GameStop Can Immediately* Play Stand-alone HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE Experience
LOS ANGELES (May 10, 2012) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, in association with GameStop®, the world's largest multichannel video game retailer,today announced HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE™, a stand-alone sniper experience exclusively in North America for GameStop customers who pre-order HITMAN®: ABSOLUTION™. The HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE pre-order promotion will be available starting May 15, 2012. HITMAN: ABSOLUTION will be available on November 20, 2012 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
Developed by IO Interactive A/S, a Square Enix studio, HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE is not part of the main game, but a stand-alone experience to reward fans who pre-order HITMAN: ABSOLUTION. Players can don the suit of Agent 47 as he takes on an exclusive assassination assignment. From a balcony overlooking a rooftop gathering, players will be tasked with taking out Richard Strong, Jr., CEO of Stallion Armaments, along with his entire staff of bodyguards. Skilled players will capitalize on score multipliers, hidden secrets, unlock equipment upgrades and marvel at the many creative ways one can discretely dispose of a body while they work to fulfil their contract in the most efficient way possible.
An online leaderboard allows players to compare their sniping abilities with monthly prizes, keeping the stakes high through launch. In North America, the top sniper at the time of HITMAN: ABSOLUTION's launch will win a trip for two to Copenhagen, Denmark where they will meet with the HITMAN development team and have their likeness incorporated into the next HITMAN game. Keep an eye on www.HitmanSniper.com for more details. Additionally, the high-powered Kazo TRG sniper rifle used in the challenge can be carried over into the main game along with all the "Sniper Challenge" upgrades and unlockables earned.
"HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE sets a new industry standard for pre-order incentives," said Mona Hamilton, vice president of marketing at Square Enix, Inc. "For all those HITMAN fans that just can't wait to play HITMAN: ABSOLUTION, they can immediately take part in an exclusive competition featuring the original assassin when they pre-order at GameStop."
Available May 15, HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE will be downloadable exclusively for customers who pre-order through GameStop for the PlayStation®Network and Xbox LIVE®. The Windows PC version will be made available through Steam on August 1, 2012. For more information, please visit: www.HitmanSniper.com.
* Customers will be able to pre-order HITMAN: ABSOLUTION from May 15 and will be able to play HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE from May 15 through access to Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network. The PC version will be made available through Steam from August 1. Terms of the pre-order program will be set by individual retailers in each country where HITMAN: ABSOLUTION is available for pre-order. Please refer to retailers for full terms and details.
About HITMAN: ABSOLUTION
HITMAN: ABSOLUTION follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted — and now hunted by the police — Agent 47 suddenly finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world.
Developed by IO Interactive A/S, a Square Enix studio, HITMAN: ABSOLUTION is not yet rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.
HITMAN: SNIPER CHALLENGE Official website: http://www.HitmanSniper.com
HITMAN: ABSOLUTION Official Homepage: http://www.Hitman.com
HITMAN: ABSOLUTION Official Facebook® page: http://www.facebook.com/Hitman
Join the HITMAN community: http://www.barcodesociety.com
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME – News), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, is the world's largest multichannel video game retailer. GameStop's retail network and family of brands include 6,683 company-operated stores in 17 countries worldwide and online at www.GameStop.com. The network also includes: www.Kongregate.com, a leading browser-based game site; Game Informer(R) magazine, the leading multi-platform video game publication; Spawn Labs, a streaming technology company; and a digital PC game distribution platform available at www.GameStop.com/pc.
General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company's corporate website. Follow GameStop on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/GameStop and find GameStop on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GameStop.
About Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix Group. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 59million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.
More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.square-enix.com/na.
HITMAN: ABSOLUTION © 2012 Square Enix, Ltd. All rights reserved. HITMAN, HITMAN: ABSOLUTION, AGENT 47, DRAGON QUEST, EIDOS, FINAL FANTASY, IO INTERACTIVE, SPACE INVADERS, SQUARE ENIX, the SQUARE ENIX logo, TAITO and TOMB RAIDER are registered trademarks or trademarks of Square Enix Group. "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.
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