Hitman 2 is a 2018 stealth video game developed by IO Interactive. It is the seventh main instalment in the Hitman video game series, the sequel to 2016's Hitman and the second game in the World of Assassination trilogy. The game continues the story arc started in Hitman, following genetically-engineered assassin Agent 47 as he searches for the mysterious "Shadow Client" who is trying to destroy Providence, a secretive organization that controls global affairs. It also explores more of 47's mysterious background, which Providence offered to bring to light in exchange for 47's assistance. Like its predecessor, the game is structured around six large sandbox locations that players can freely explore to find opportunities to eliminate their targets. It also included two online multiplayer modes called Sniper Assassin and Ghost Mode, though the game's servers for both modes have since been shut down; Sniper Assassin can still be played single-player.
Sales of the 2016 episodic game Hitman fell short of expectations, prompting the series' publisher Square Enix to sell IO Interactive, which became an independent studio after a management buyout. With a limited cash flow, the studio laid off nearly half of its employees and had to reduce the scope of the sequel, whose development was about 25% completed. Because the framework had been created with the previous game, development of Hitman 2 was faster than usual, taking about twenty-one months. The first game's episodic model was abandoned and Hitman 2 was released in full. IO Interactive supported the game with additional content after release, including two paid maps and free elusive targets and contracts.
Hitman 2 was released for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in November 2018 and Stadia by IO Interactive in September 2020. It received generally positive reviews, with most critics viewing it as an improvement over its predecessor and praising its varied locations, sandbox design, gameplay enhancements, humour and assassination opportunities. However, the story and the multiplayer modes received a mixed response. Hitman 2 recuperated its developmental costs but its launch during a crowded release window negatively affected sales. Hitman 3, the conclusion of the World of Assassination trilogy, was released in January 2021.