David Bateson will reprise the role of Agent 47 in Hitman Absolution, after it was revealed last year that IO Interactive dropped the long-serving voice actor. Square Enix confirmed the news yesterday, shortly after the above video of Bateson announcing his return found its way online. The video was on a USB key given to a fan by IO Interactive community manager Nick Price.
Bateson's return was a struggle, with IO Interactive initially asking him to audition for a role he'd served since 2000 and Codename 47. Then, around this time last year, the developer confirmed Bateson's absence from Absolution. This sparked a number of online petitions pleading for him to be reinstated as 47, including one that received over 3,500 signatures.
IO Interactive's brand director Jon Brooke revealed the developer brought back Bateson after a change of heart, saying that on reflection the developer was "just playing hard to get." That's certainly one way of putting it.
Bateson will finally return as the dapper, bald assassin on November 20, when Absolution releases worldwide for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.