IO Interactive, the developers behind the stealth franchise Hitman, has announced that they have expanded by opening a second studio. Announced by IO Interactive’s CEO Hakan Abrak via the studio’s official website, this new studio is located in Malmö, Sweden and is aptly dubbed IO Interactive Malmö. The studio is already fully operational, and, according to Abrak, will work in tandem with IO Interactive’s main studio to “deliver exceptional content to the Hitman franchise, community, and all our fans.” Abrak also stated that the creation of the Malmö-based studio will allow IO Interactive to be more creative.
Furthermore, this will expand our muscles for creating brand-new and exciting endeavours, new universes, new franchises. In other words, IOI Malmö and Copenhagen are one family.
While this new studio will be helping support the Hitman franchise, the teased idea of IO Interactive being able to work on new ideas and franchises thanks to this expansion is enticing. The studio’s last game that wasn’t set in the Hitman franchise released nine years ago with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days in 2010.
In regards to why Malmö, Sweden was chosen as the location of the new studio, Abrak considers the move to the city as a “natural choice” due to the “very strong existing video game industry” in the area. Abrak also believes that the city has the potential “to become the epicentre of game development in Scandinavia.” IO Interactive now joins developers such as Tasier Studios, the studio behind Little Nightmares, and Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment, the studio behind Ubisoft’s 2016 shared world shooter The Division and its upcoming sequel The Division 2, in the Swedish city.
The decision to expand with a second studio shows the company’s growth since going fully independent. IO Interactive split with former publisher Square Enix back in 2017, and was able to maintain the rights to the Hitman franchise in the departure. Since then, the studio was able to partner with Warner Bros. on their latest title, Hitman 2, which released in November of last year.