Hitman – Game of the Year Edition was released on GOG.com late last month and following weeks of player complaints and review bombing due to obtrusive online DRM requirements, it has now been removed from the storefront.
Hitman GOTY Edition is a version of the beloved assassin simulator from 2016 that includes all the DLC in one package. But it also locks away most of its content and progression behind an always-online requirement, which many believed was a form of DRM. This seemed out of place on GOG, a storefront that is anti-DRM. Making matters worse was that the store page for Hitman didn’t properly disclose just how much content is locked behind an internet connection. As a result, players began review bombing the game and complaining in the GOG forums.
Some of the content that can only be unlocked when online includes new weapons, items, outfits, and starting locations. However, the original store page only listed that “escalation missions, elusive targets, or user-created missions” needed an internet connection.
In response to the initial backlash and complaints, GOG explained that it was “looking into [Hitman’s online DRM] and will be updating you in the coming weeks.” Now, it’s gone from the store, so it appears that GOG has decided that Hitman GOTY Edition is indeed not a good fit for its digital storefront in its current state.
Chandra, a GOG representative, posted the following statement in response to the situation and the decision to yank Hitman off GOG:
Thank you for your patience and for giving us the time to investigate the release of HITMAN GOTY on GOG. As promised, we’re getting back to you with updates.
We’re still in dialogue with IO Interactive about this release. Today we have removed HITMAN GOTY from GOG’s catalogue – we shouldn’t have released it in its current form, as you’ve pointed out.
We’d like to apologise for the confusion and anger generated by this situation. We’ve let you down and we’d like to thank you for bringing this topic to us – while it was honest to the bone, it shows how passionate you are towards GOG.
We appreciate your feedback and will continue our efforts to improve our communication with you.
So it seems that in the future a different version of the game could find its way over to GOG, without all the content hidden behind always-online DRM. However, considering how integrated the online aspect of Hitman is in the final product and how old the game is in 2021, I’m not holding my breath that a more GOG-friendly version of Hitman GOTY Edition ever comes out.