No they weren't. They were 90% less than Hitman Absolution ... which came out in the 7th generation when digital sales were still onl about 10%-15% of sales, and was the best selling Hitman game ever. A dumb metric if there's ever been one.
The Steam player count is better than Hitman 1, with a more consistent player base. Not only that, but:
Hitman Season 1 went from 2 million in early 2017, to 5 million in late 2017, to 13 million in mid 2018 (it's worth mentioning this metric was before Hitman 2 was announced, so it had nothing to do with an upcoming game bringing hype to the first season).
Well if things are so rosey then I suspect there would be no rumour of MS buyout and the company would be shouting from the rooftops about sales. They are not and we know its not done that well. So regardless of my mistake... it was 10th in the UK charts which equals about 8 thousand copies at best. OK UK isn't the be all and end all but I think we know its not done well, guess we'll see, if they are brought out then I think we can say Hitman 2 sales didn't help.
See, that's the beautiful thing about correcting someone ... you don't have to take a side or even argue against their original point.
I feel like this reply is just you stating "sales sales sales" as if Hitman was a Call of Duty game. While sales are an important metric, they're not the only thing to consider. How much profit is made is also very important. While Hitman 2 is being published by a big publisher (WB), it's doubtful that publisher is taking nearly as much as Square Enix was off Hitman 1. Not only that but IO's staff is a lot smaller, and, whereas Glacier 2 most likely required a lot of reworking for Hitman 1, Hitman 2 makes very few updates to the overall engine. The idea of IO-Interactive ever, in any sane universe, shouting at the rooftops about sales is hilarious and honestly ... I don't think that was ever an expectation out of them. That's what is more important to figure out: to IO's standards, did Hitman 2 succeed or fail their projections? And i'm going to guess they might have slightly fallen below, but not enough to make IO lose money. There are many cases from many industries where having a different business model and being independent was enough to make a profit, sometimes even a big one, off low sales.
As for whether thing being "rosey" would dictate a rumor or not .... no. You can see in this very thread people not taking into account all of the possible angles in which Hitman 2 can succeed or fail, including yourself. If that's the case, then people could easily think that the company isn't doing well when they in fact are. So rumors coming out of how "rosey" a company is isn't reality, the reality is the appearance of how "rosey" the company is. And man, do roses really smell like poo.
Rumors as of late have been very inaccurate even when coming from "trusted insiders". Remember Switch being $250? Remember Switch launching with Splatoon Refresh and Mario Kart 8/Infinity? Remember Mother 3? Remember how the X02018 event was supposed to be "like E3", and then insiders went back on that, and then they all repeated it the day of X02018? Lol. Trusted insiders usually have TERRIBLE track records, people just ignore the failures.