Square Enix has recently announced that they and IO Interactive, the developer of the Hitman series were departing from one another. Earlier today IO Interactive announced that they were now completely independent. In addition to this they are also able to keep the rights to the Hitman series. They agreed to a management buyout which allowed them to retain the rights to the popular series.
“Therefore I am proud to announce today that IO is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.” CEO Hakan Abrak released an official statement where he started off listing some of their past accomplishments.
“In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era.”
He went on to state how important it is for their fanbase to stay engaged with their existing content for Hitman and also what they have in store for it in the immediate future as they go through this transition.
“We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for Hitman and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.”
Square Enix announced the plans to part with IO Interactive in May after news of layoffs in the studio. However the studio still continued to work on content for the episodic title. There are no known plans for the longterm future of the Hitman series at this time.