The studio's actually not shackled to Hitman by corporate mandate, though. If Square-Enix Montreal wants to make a Tomb Raider game, it's more than welcome to. Its studio philosophy and design concepts are what dictate which series it tackles.
"We're working on mobile products so our mandate is to look at the portfolio of games we have within the Square-Enix west franchises-so Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Hitman-and say what can we do around the Hitman brand?" said Patrick Naud, studio head at Square-Enix Montreal, during our interview at E3. "It was our first assignment, so we started working on Hitman Go but at the same time we started working on Hitman Sniper."
He explained that both games were born out of an open pitch session amongst Montreal's team members. They had four days to break into teams and come up with concepts. Sniper and Hitman Go were the games everyone agreed were the best out of twelve pitches. Hitman was their chosen series because it seemed Montreal's best ideas were most suited to it rather than anything else in Square's stable.
"Any product we make, it has to be fresh. If we're going to make another Go, it's got to be a new recipe" explained Naud. "It can be done. We can make a great game on a tablet. We don't need to just slap a brand on an existing genre. We can be creative, there's room for it. And the game will sell for a lot longer period. It'll sell for two years."
That means that unless they have a reason, Montreal won't be making a Thief or a Legacy of Kain game any time soon. "We refuse to port, we refuse to just slap something on. We have such great brands! It could be easy. Let's do a Tomb Raider runner. That wouldn't be our style. That wouldn't work."
Hitman Go (4/23/14)