IO Interactive announced the deal in a blog post which revealed new details about the game.
“As an independent studio, our partnership with Epic has given us the freedom to create Hitman 3 exactly as we imagined and self-publish the game to our players directly. It’s also important to us that we honor the time our existing PC players have spent in our previous games.”
IO confirmed that PC players will be able to transfer their Hitman 2 progress and unlocks from Steam to the Epic Games Store. Players can import locations from both Hitman and Hitman 2 as well.
To celebrate the deal, players can pick up Hitman for free on the Epic Games Store starting Thursday, August 27.
Hitman 3 is the latest major title to sign a timed exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store. Previously, titles such as Borderlands 3 and Fallout 76 were only available on PC through the storefront. Both titles finally came to Steam earlier this spring.
The announcement came alongside a trailer for the game, which showed off the game’s second mission. Set in Dartmoor, England, the Thornbridge Mystery mission features a “murder mystery” element. IO says players will disguise themselves as a detective and solve a family murder in a large manor (similar to whodunits like Knives Out), all while committing one of their own.
“Every member of the family is a possible suspect, and it’s been quite the challenge to make sure everything doesn’t fall apart just because the player wants to play around,” explains lead writer Nick Price. “In fact, that sort of behavior should be rewarded in a Hitman game, so we have been working hard on making sure that depending on what a player discovers during their investigation, outcomes might differ.
Pre-orders for Hitman 3 will go live later this month. In addition to the Epic Games Store, the game will be available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia. The game is slated for a January 2021 release.