Look at any major entertainment franchise and the natural order of things typically flows in the following way: movie to TV series to games to merchandise. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to that rule, but that’s usually the way things go. However, if there’s one man who doesn’t like to live by the rules and walks to the sound of his own beat, it’s Agent 47. Otherwise known as Hitman, the video game character first came into our lives in 2000 and has appeared nine virtual worlds in total, as well as a series of official spin-offs which even includes a slot game.
The Hitman’s First Strike
As you can see, Agent 47 has already broken the trend by starting out life as a video game character and not someone from the big screen transitioning into a digital icon. In fact, what the deadliest virtual killer in the world has actually done is move from the games world into the movie industry not once but twice. In 2007, the first Hitman movie was released and, after grossing just short of $40 million in the US, it went on to take a little under $100 million worldwide. Fast-forward to 2015 and a slightly different looking Agent 47 reappeared to net the Hitman franchise another $82 million. At this point, we’ve seen the Hitman brand evolve from games to movies, but that’s not the end of the story.
The Hitman in a Slot
In 2007, just as the movie was winning over fans, casino game developer Microgaming decided to create a Hitman themed slot. Slotting into a genre of casino games that are officially licensed products are kitted out with embedded movie clips and animations, Hitman regularly tops the lobbies of the leading platforms. To find out why this game is popular with the iGaming community, you can read about it here, but the main thing to note is that is fuses style and substance. As referenced in the aforementioned review, the Contract Bonus is a “unique” offering that sees players presented with a mission brief and targets that turn into cash once “hit”. By using the theme to enliven a bonus round, Hitman slots have another level of depth that makes them more entertaining than the average spinner.
Agent 47 Looking to Slay Another Industry
OK, so what does all this mean? Well, aside from the Hitman franchise bucking the common trend, it’s resulted in a TV show and being purveyors of all things to do with the small screen, that’s piqued our interest. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a ton of franchise heroes, such as DC Comic’s Black Lightning come into view and now Agent 47 is joining the crowd. According to reports, Fox 21 and Hulu have teamed up to create a Hitman TV series. Essentially piggybacking of the successful products we’ve listed above, the show is likely to be released in 2019 and Derek Kolstad has already written the pilot.
Now, success in one medium doesn’t always equal success in other (just look at how bad the Street Fighter movie was), but Hitman does appear to have the pedigree to succeed. Even if we ignored the fact 25 million games have been sold and there are two more in the pipeline, it’s appeal has cross boundaries. The movie had solid reviews and generated healthy profits at the box office. Similarly, the slot game has become an industry favorite and adds yet another layer of interest to the brand. Sure, a poorly written TV show could kill the brand, but we think that Agent 47 is too slick to get caught in the crossfire and is likely heading for another solid hit.