Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive have announced that they are working together again, with the former fulfilling the role as the publisher and the latter on the development end. Both companies enjoyed success with the studio’s previous title, Hitman 2, which went onto be critically acclaimed for it’s ingenuity, breathtaking visuals, and challenging stealth mechanics. Well known video game aficionado Nibel also tweeted the news.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive (Hitman series) have announced a new worldwide publishing and distribution agreement for a new game (console + PC)https://t.co/cZLYKrnvr1 pic.twitter.com/LH3fOOVqbt
— Nibel (@Nibellion) October 10, 2019
In the press release, IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak stated that he is looking forward to working with the publisher once again: “Over the past few years, Warner Bros. has shown us first-hand that they understand and respect our creative vision, and we’re looking forward to continuing this relationship.” In the same statement, Abrak mentioned that this new project will be done at both the main studio in Copenhagen, and at their sister studio in Malmö, and that they are currently looking for new talent to begin production.
Meanwhile Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment CEO David Haddad spoke similarly to this new arrangement and spoke highly of IO Interactive: “IO Interactive has a longstanding legacy of creating iconic games, and we’re looking forward to partnering on this next endeavor to bring a new console and PC gaming experience to players globally.” Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is that this is the beginning of Hitman 3. However, nothing in the press release explicitly states this, and on top of that it’s mentioned multiple times that this is a “new game experience.” For now we’ll just assume that it is in fact a brand new IP that we will see in the foreseeable future.
Warner Bros. first became involved with IO after the studio and their previous parent company, Square Enix, agreed to separate, which became known as “Squexit.” Warner Bros. would end up becoming the publisher for Hitman 2, and before that Hitman: Definitive Edition, Hitman Enhanced Collection and the mobile title Hitman GO. Therefore, it’s no big surprise that both companies would want to continue this working relationship.
It’s also important to note that IO is an independent developer, not owned by any parent company. Warner Bros. owns the rights to numerous AAA franchises, most famously Mortal Kombat which is developed by NetherRealm Studios. For them to allow IO such freedom is almost unheard of in the video game industry. However, considering that the developer has been under an umbrella company twice, Eidos Interactive and then Square Enix, and was able to regain their independence outright soon after, it speaks volumes to how far they’ve come, and Warner Bros. probably sees that.
Nothing was mentioned if this new game will be for the current generation of consoles, or if it’s for the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett. Either way, we’re intrigued by this and will be waiting on more information for this new ambitious project.