Hitman Absolution: Square scraps online pass, now free to all

Monday, 19th November 2012 10:20 GMT By Dave Cook

Hitman: Absolution review code came bundled with an online pass code for use with the game’s new Contracts mode. If you didn’t have a code you’d have to pay to use it. But now publisher Square-Enix has scrapped the need for a pass, making it free to all. Find out why below.

The game isn’t out until tomorrow, but Square had second thoughts about charging people for online play. Over on the Hitman: Absolution blog, IO Interactive stated, “We’d actually planned to have this mode accessible via a code in the game’s box, but we really want to make it available to anybody that plays the game – so we want to take a new approach.”

Indeed, VG247′s review copy did come with an online pass inside the box, but Square-Enix has explained that while copies of the game will still have a code, that they should be ignored. Players can instead download the Contracts update for free via their respective online marketplaces.

The blog post added, “If you’re in North America you’ll see the mode automatically appear in the game menu. If you’re elsewhere, you can redeem the code inside the box, or you can simply select the BUY CONTRACTS PASS option. From there, head to the store where CONTRACTS will be free to access.”

What do you make of Square’s u-turn? Let us know below. Meanwhile, check out our Hitman: Absolution review round-up. It’s been getting very mixed scores.



  1. YoungZer0

    Good to see that some publishers aren’t just greedy assholes. Hats off to you, Square.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. KAP

    Great news. You listening Games Industry?


    No. Course not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 +1

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Pytox

    @3 +1 :D

    #4 2 years ago
  5. wickedcricket

    I think Square-Enix has won everything in 2012, in my eyes at least. I mean, I bought their every game without a second thought, knowing it would be epic and so far it was.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. uomoartificiale

    @1 They still clearly are “greedy assholes”, as you say. It’s not that they “accidentally” put the season pass in there. They wanted to charge for that content, then saw the low review scores, and feared for a lot of copies returned or second-hand sales. Now they are changing their tactics hoping to get first-hand or even second-hand customers to keep their copies.

    All of which is totally fine by me. Just don’t let us be overcome by wishful thinking.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    @6: Hey, at least they learn from their mistakes and even admit that they made mistakes!

    Ubisoft DRM, anyone?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. uomoartificiale

    @6 agreed. In this case it’s a good thing for customers in the end. Just saying that in order to get them to give us a good thing (cancel the season pass), a bad thing has to happen for them (bad reviews, low sales, etc…).
    It’s not a win-win situation. I think only valve is applying some long-term reasoning in his relationship with customers. I remember when steam was the epithomy of all the bad that was happening in PC gaming, now valve it’s our best friend. They really changed our perception of their company. Let’s hope other publishers get some clues about this.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Noodlemanny

    @5 agreed.
    I’ve been really Impressed with what Square Enix have been doing recently. With Sleeping Dogs, Deus Ex and Just Cause 2 all being great games I’ve thoroughly enjoy all of which being original (apart from Just Cause 2 I suppose). They’re not perfect but in my eyes their more impressive than any other publisher. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next and I hope that Hitman satisfies my ‘stealth action’ cravings, although if the PC gamer review is anything to go by it will be a considerable step down from Blood Money (Doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy it though).

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Moonwalker1982


    That makes two of us man. I really appreciate what Square Enix is doing with games. Tomb Raider is looking very promising indeed, i have yet to buy Sleeping Dogs but i’m sure i will enjoy it. Deus Ex was great. I agree about Just Cause 2, it just wasn’t enjoyable to me. And i hope Hitman will be great. Many reviews say its great and several also say its not. From what i played at Gamescom, it’s awesome.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. wickedcricket

    @9, @10 – exactly my thoughts! I guess 3 now…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    @6 Low review scores? What the hell are on you on about?

    I think it’s a safe bet that the only reason this is being done is because of the controversy that US people wouldn’t have to pay at all, but European people would if they lost / don’t have a code.

    Always funny to watch companies lie straight to their customers’ faces though.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Moonwalker1982

    This however won’t mean we’ll get future DLC for free though, right? This is basically just a very big plus for anyone who decides to buy a used copy of the game, right? Or if you have a brother/sister/friend and he wants to borrow your copy, he can play Contracts mode too, correct?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @13 Basically.

    #14 2 years ago

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