Japanese games giant Square Enix has officially cut ties with IO Interactive, the Danish gaming studio responsible for the creation of the Hitman series of games, effective as of March 31, 2017. The announcement of this move came today alongside Square Enix’s release of their fiscal year sales results.
In the announcement, Square Enix clarifies their motivations behind the move, saying they are “focusing [their] resources and energies on key franchises and studios.” They reveal that the decision represents an extraordinary loss of 4,898 million yen (approximately $43 million USD) in costs associated with “disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets.”
Looking to the future, Square Enix states the following:
As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.
IO Interactive has not released an official statement in response to today’s announcement. On their official twitter, the studio appears to be responding to a large outpouring of fan support and curiosity with approximately the exact same response every time: “Thanks for the support. There’s a lot going on right now and we’ll have more to say at a later point. For now, back to making games.”
@VG_Dave Thanks for the support, Dave. There's a lot going on right now and we'll have more to say at a later point. For now, back to making games.
— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 11, 2017
In recent days, IO Interactive had appeared to be continuing with producing and releasing content for the latest Hitman, recently releasing a schedule for all new content to hit the game this month.
If you can see it in the picture, you can play it in @HITMAN right now.
Not bad, eh? pic.twitter.com/nBEeiQIhPz
— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 10, 2017
IO Interactive had been under Square Enix since 2009, when Square Enix Europe acquired IO Interactive’s parent, Eidos Interactive.