UPDATE: Square Enix issued a statement this morning to explain the confusion that has come out from Richard Knight's LinkedIn profile that suggest a next-gen Hitman title had been cancelled. Square assures us that this isn't the case, and that Io-Interactive is developing a new AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles at an unknown date.
Here's the full statement: "There's a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion. Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise. We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."
Original Story: According to a LinkedIn profile for senior game designer Richard Knight at Square Enix Montreal, the studio's next-gen Hitman has been garrotted and stuffed in a closet for nosey guards to discover later.
It was revealed in late 2011 and was to be their first title with it described as a "re-imagining" of the series blending first and third-person. Now they're pursing iOS and Android.
Square Enix retasked their Montreal studio with mobile game development last year leaving the next-gen Hitman at odds with their new mandate.
Network engineer Anthony Pressacco's profile suggested that it would have included microtransactions and leaderboards, which wouldn't have gone down too well - they never do. Concept artwork for the new Hitman hit the net in 2012. It seems that Hitman creator IO Interactive is once again the sole provider of bald, bar-coded assassins.
Square had planned on alternating releases between IO and Montreal for Hitman, like Activision does with Call of Duty. It's not known whether Montreal's next-gen project will be salvaged by IO Interactive or not.
Half of IO Interactives staff wasin June 2013.