Was Ambrose Island an apology from IO?

So, why did we get Ambrose? After Hitman III came out, IO said there wouldn’t be any new maps, only some DLC. That turned out to be the Seven Deadly Escalations, which, let’s put it mildly, weren’t really appreciated by fans. People had also complained that the train shouldn’t have counted as a sixth level.

Then, 18 months later after Hitman III’s release, a pretty nifty new story map comes out, completely free.

The question is, was Ambrose- or the idea of it- originally planned? The thing is, the tropical island setting was one we had seen before and it wasn’t high on many fan’s wishlists (unlike snow maps!). Was that location chosen because it could reuse the most assets?

What do we all think? Was Ambrose a gift to the players after Hitman III sold well or an apology after the DLC Escalations? Or both?

Don’t give me those puppy-dog eyes, Akka!


Since Freelancer was originally supposed to release before Ambrose but they had to switch it around due to the delays in preparing freelancer, my theory is that Freelancer was always supposed to be free, and they were originally going to charge to get Ambrose. I could be wrong.

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Back circa January 2021, upon release of Hitman 3, there would be boardroom meetings to decide upon the budget divided between new IPs vs Hitman 3 post release content for a two year period.

Once a budget was decided, another set of meetings would decided upon what content that they would spend within the budget allocation. They decided upon three major projects which fulfilled different time lines for release over ~ 2 years. Budget allocation for Hitman 3 post-release would likely have been decided before Hitman 3 release:

(1) short term - monthly content for Year 1:
1a. an episodic release of the 7 Deadly Sins, which provided new content created on a monthly basis with a small team to span most of the first year of Hitman 3 post-release.
1b. 7 Deadly Sins combined with a few new elusive targets, feature contracts, and the recycling of elusive targets within the elusive target arcade, ensured a monthly release of content until the medium and long term plans could be realized.

(2) medium term -1 year and 1/2, post-release of new location, Ambrose Island. Choice of post-release of Hitman 3 of at least one new location, was consistent with post-release of new maps from Hitman 2 with NY Bank and Haven Island and the even more substantial post-release content for Hitman 1 post-release.

(3) long term - 2 years: release of Freelancer associated with repackaging Hitman 3 to WOA. Freelancer is the swan song for the Hitman trilogy - in what is supposed to be an infinitely playable Hitman.

(4) post - 2 years:
errrr… not much. Recent feature contracts prepared by departing intern at IOI (says Clemens). Don’t know how many unpaid interns are responsible for Hitman 3 in year 3 release, but kind of tells you that Hitman WOA trilogy is in the rear view mirror for IOI.

Not a complaint because Hitman WOA trilogy is a polished product with more total content than a typical AAA game. I look forward to achieving all achievements within Freelancer over the next weeks, months, years.


Personally I don’t like Ambrose as a setting, as a map so I wouldn’t call it an apology.
And I don’t think it really is.
It’s just another map which could be counted as a free DLC for HITMAN 3, alongside Freelancer.
If you ask me, I would prefer them to invest more time and effort in Ghost Mode, and bring it back into the game instead of Freelancer.
It would’ve been an apology personally for me :slight_smile:


I feel like Ambrose Island itself was planned and started development before Greed even launched as a way to keep people invested in Year 2 for the Steam release (Freelancer was probably meant for this too, but then they decided to have it include all maps and had to delay it clear till the third year).

My guess is that IO’s “apology” was making it a free addition instead of paid DLC, to compensate for the huge negativity regarding the 7 Deadly Sins’ pricing.

Edit: I just remembered that there was the “controversy” of releasing the Steam version at full price with no discounts. Maybe Ambrose was free as an “apology” for that in addition to giving Steam players Deluxe Pack or 7DS free. I put apology in quotes because it’s equally likely they didn’t do it as any sort of apology.


Why on earth would IO feel the need to apologise for releasing a DLC which was optional for players to buy? :rofl:

If anyone regretted purchasing 7DS, it was their own fault for just jumping into it without taking the time to find out what the content was before buying. We weren’t able to pre-order 7DS, so there would be no need for IO to apologise because people blindly paid for it instead of waiting for gameplay footage to surface on YouTube.

As for why Ambrose got made, there was some stuff in the game before it released that indicated it was part of a GOTY edition for H3. Clearly that never happened and it was just simply patched in. Perhaps to avoid making buying H3 at the time even more complicated.

But the idea of it being an apology is stupid.


Because IO is a company that didn’t survived 35 years on speculation. Perception of the buyers is essential. 7DS was a bad move in terms of image (pricing, gameplay… the memes about greed).

The idea of it being an apology, makes perfect sense from a business perspective


In that case, they might want to consider doing that snow map after all as an apology for Freelancer.


I like to think it was a make good for sixth level that they decided to do after the fact when the game sold really well. I might be projecting on that though.


I think its because the train map, that we got 5 maps instead 6
The fans complains alot and it was sucks really


Mmm, Ambrose being an apology for Carpathian Mountains being part of the claim of six open world maps makes more sense than an apology for 7 Deadly Sins.


I know what you’re referring to here (a sentence that used to be on hitman.com) but they never claimed H3 had six open world maps. They claimed it had six locations, which it did.

The thing you’re referring to, yet got completely wrong, was that the sentence said the game has six locations each with 20 mastery levels. And I seriously doubt IO felt the need to make a whole new location to make up for 15 “missing” mastery levels.


Hold up there, pal. I never said IOI made such a claim, I simply said “the claim.” Yeah, thinking back now, I don’t recall anyone explicitly saying the game would feature that, but then, it’s been three years since the fact that there’d be six maps was shared, so I don’t remember who said what. Now, in hindsight, claim was the wrong word. The perception, the belief, the expectation among players that because six locations were announced that all six would be open world sandboxes. And while that was technically on us, IOI knew full well that we would expect such a thing, and saw the dissatisfaction among players once the game released.

So back to my original point, IOI could have put out Ambrose as a sort of apology for setting the expectation that H3 would contain six sandboxes.

As already stated by thrison, it was planned to be a part of a GOTY expansion. As for Freelancer, they were asking early testers how much they’d pay for Freelancer (early versions of Freelancer allegedly had more map changes).

It might’ve been made free since plans for a GOTY version fell through, they didn’t have enough content etc. Early estimates placed the street art, ornamental, and ancestral set of items and suits as escalations in their respective maps (Berlin, Dubai, and Dartmoor). But clearly they needed to fill the gear walls and mastery levels.

I personally think it was made free because of the delays to Freelancer and that they’ve been making profit on the game since a week after it first launched in 2021, they could afford it.

I don’t think it’s an apology, an apology for what exactly?


Stop expecting “content” to be fulfilling. Stop reading too much into arbitrary stuff like “mastery levels” and assigning value to the substance or depth of a a video based on that. If you’re not getting a fulfilling experience out of playing a game purely to play it, then just stop wasting your time and do something else.


Whatever it is i’m glad we got another mission to play with instead of those lame and annoying escalations, especially after that final mission that was way too short for a grand finale imo…

I just wish it was set up in a different context, as we already have two island missions but no real snow level for example.

Looking forward to more levels in the future if possible :blush:

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According to IOI, Hitman 3 game director Mattias Engström IOI knew of the potential criticisms, and instead of being apologetic, were absolutely happy with the choice of their linear final mission that they believed was critical for the Hitman story arc for the WOA:

While this kind of experience is unprecedented in the trilogy, IO designed the train level to serve a specific storytelling goal. “The purpose of this last mission was to have a narratively driven set-piece that is setting up closure for the trilogy,” said Engström. He added that a train was “a perfect metaphor” for what 47 has spent his life doing: following a path determined by others. Finishing the job and stepping off the train is similarly symbolic for 47’s story, according to Engström — a representation of the contract killer using his newfound free will to leave his past behind.

"We did what we wanted to do, basically,” he said. “Like, yeah […] we were scrutinizing it and talking about it. But at the end of the day, we were very confident that this is the right thing.”


Thought you was a fan of Freelancer? :thinking:


I am, though I’m still disappointed with some aspects of it, namely the existence of the objectives. Even so, I’m referring more to the general fandom, which seems to have given its overall feelings about Freelancer as being: “I expected more. It’s ok, but…” That kind of thing.

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I remember reading this. I agreed with him then and agree with him now.

However, I think that full suit and loadout capabilities should be unlocked for those who’ve reached full mastery. We’ve played the mission as intended and we’ve fulfilled the narrative vision: now let me take the Shashka Beast on that train dressed as a clown!