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Hitman Sniper passes 10m players

Mobile spin-off likely the best-selling entry in the series to date

Square Enix has announced Hitman Sniper has been played by more than 10 million mobile users around the world.

The title was developed by Square Enix Montreal and builds on the popularity of Hitman: Sniper Challenge, a downloadable mini-game used to promote 2012's Hitman Absolution.

The premium mobile game has rapidly become one of the studio's biggest hits, alongside the Go series (Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go and Deus Ex Go). But the title's success also seems to surpass that of its AAA source material.

In 2015, a Square Enix annual report declared that the Hitman series had sold more than 15 million units across PC and console since the original released in 2000. While the episodic Hitman 2016 has proven to be popular, it's unlikely to have matched the 10 million figure achieved by the mobile spin-off.

That almost certainly makes Hitman Sniper the best-selling title in the entire franchise. GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Square Enix for confirmation.

Of course, this accomplishment is purely in terms of unit sales and aided in no small part to the ubiquitous nature of smart devices. While the console and PC audience is smaller, it has most likely generated more money via game sales - each Hitman tends to launch at full price, while Sniper costs just £4.99 (and has occasionally been discounted).

That's not to say the mobile game hasn't been a good earner for Square Enix. Like almost any mobile game, there are microtransactions to keep generate revenues in the long term.

The player count is likely to rise over the next week, with Square Enix Montreal making the game free-to-play for the first time, although only until April 4th. This is to celebrate the 10 million milestone.

This is also likely to be the last Hitman game Square Enix will directly profit from. Last year the publisher passed the IP rights to developer IO Interactive as the studio became fully independent.

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