Ever since Hitman: Blood Money was released in 2006, the popular stealth-action series has lain fallow. There have been rumors of a fifth installment in the series, with one report having Batman: Arkham Asylum maker Rocksteady Studios taking over development of the series from franchise creator IO Interactive. More recently, though, an apparent alternate reality game has been offering teaser images that point to an imminent reveal of a new Hitman title.
Today came another indicator that a new installment in the Hitman saga is in the works. Square Enix has filed a trademark application (spotted by Siliconera) for the term "Hitman: Absolution" with the trademark registry for the European Union. The filing was done through Square Enix's British arm, formerly known as Eidos Interactive before the publisher was bought and absorbed by the Japanese company in 2009.
The Hitman series follows the murderous exploits of Agent 47, a bald killer genetically engineered to be the perfect assassin. Hitman: Codename 47 (2000) told the tale of how the protagonist found work with the International Contract Agency (ICA) whacking high-profile criminals. Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (2002) sees 47 pulled out of retirement after his priest friend is kidnapped by the Sicilian mafia. In Hitman: Contracts (2004), he revisits many missions from the original game, albeit in reverse. Hitman: Blood Money sees 47 bring silent death to locales ranging from mid-Mardi Gras New Orleans to the White House.
For more on the series, read GameSpot's full review of Hitman: Blood Money.