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Is Hitman a TV Hit Waiting to Happen?

When Agent 47 first made his way into gaming consoles back in 2000, few would have thought that it would become a cult hit across the entertainment spectrum. Yes, the video game was hugely engaging and offered a great, if not a little more hard-hitting, alternative to the likes of Resident Evil and Tomb Raider. However, even back then it wasn’t the clear the game would pique the interest of the masses in the way it has.

The entertainment industry is a funny old place though and, today, Hitman is more than a video game – it’s a franchise. From the original Eidos Interactive game, Hitman’s catalogue has expanded massively with recent releases such as Hitman: Absolution hitting 3.6 million+ sales. However, perhaps the most interesting interpretation of Agent 47 in a gaming context has come courtesy of the iGaming industry.

With online casino gaming now worth in excess of $50 billion, software developers have been given the freedom to branch out and borrow themes from other areas of the gaming industry at large. This freedom to get creative has resulted in movie and video game slots becoming popular over the last decade. Essentially taking familiar characters and spinning them into a new setting, these games have not only added an extra layer of entertainment to the genre, but helped make slots more appealing to mainstream gamers.

A New Spin on the Hitman Game

Continuing this trend, Hitman has joined the growing number of movie and gaming-themed slot machines out there. What does this mean in reality? Well, instead of players taking control of Agent 47 via their consoles in a bid to kill people, they can now scan through the list of slots from 32Red and spin reels to win prizes.

Much like 32Red’s other themed slots such as Bridesmaids, Hitman players are treated to a combination of video clips, images and sound effects from the popular franchise. Naturally, in line with the idea of turning movies/games into slots, the developers have also added a bonus round where players have to shoot targets to win prizes.

In fact, it’s these features that create an added layer of entertainment and, therefore, engagement compared to other more “traditional” online slots. For instance, Phoenix Sun at Guts Casino might offer five reels like Hitman slots do, but the Ancient Egyptian theme isn’t one non-casino players will have much affinity with. Similarly, Starburst at Casino Cruise boasts jackpots topping 250X a player’s stake. However, the in-game symbols don’t have much relevance outside of the iGaming industry.

Where Hitman slots differ is that they offer a link back to the video games that players initially fell in love with. This sense of connection and relevance means that players are willing to spin the reels regardless of whether they can win money or not. Although people tend to focus on the real-money game, 32Red also offers Hitman as a free-play slot where the cash on offer isn’t real. The fact people are still willing to play this game for free when money is usually the central reason to ante up just goes to show how popular it is.

Could Hitman Become a TV Hit?

With this in mind, the question then becomes: could Hitman take this popularity and become a TV series? We know the two Hitman movies have had contrasting degrees of success. The original Hitman was a surprise hit when it was released in 2007. Despite being “another gaming movie”, audiences in the world seemed to enjoy it and that led to box office sales reaching $99,965,792. Following this success, Hitman: Agent 47 was released in 2015. Unfortunately, it couldn’t quite match the popularity of its predecessor.

Although the $82,347,656 was a healthy return on the initial $35,000,000 investment, it prompted some to question whether the cold-blooded killer’s presence was more suited to the gaming world. Well, some may argue that this is still the case, but the fact Agent 47 has been able to make a mark across two gaming genres certainly suggests he’d be a hit on the small screen. In fact, even if we accept the fact the movie sequel fell short of the original (which isn’t uncommon in the movie world), Hitman has still made almost $200,000,000 at box offices around the world.

When you take this figure and compare it to other movies that have been turned into TV shows, Hitman actually stacks up very well. Fargo, for example, only generated $51,204,567 but it still made it onto our TV screens with the third season set to air in 2017. Similarly, the eighties classic Teen Wolf may have only made $33,086,611 in the US, but it’s now into its sixth season.

If Others Can Do it, So Can Hitman

Hitman – dead bird” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Pentadact

If these movies can make it onto our TVs without being hits in the gaming world, then surely Hitman could do the same. Yes, the scriptwriters and director would have to work hard to add some depth to Agent 47’s life outside killing people, but that’s by no means impossible. Indeed, with millions of people already interested in what the assassin has to offer, there’s no reason it couldn’t become just as popular with TV viewers as it is with gamers.

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