Square Enix Splits With Hitman Creators IO Interactive

In 2009, Square Enix took control of Hitman developers IO Interactive. Today, the two companies part ways.

Square initially assumed ownership of IO when it bought Eidos Interactive, IO's parent company. But in a statement released today, the Japanese publisher says "to maximise player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward", they have "regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE".

"As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment", Square's statement adds. "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."

It's unclear what this means exactly for the Danish studio and its staff, who aside from Hitman have also been responsible for Kane & Lynch and the criminally underrated Mini Ninjas, though it certainly suggests that Square is in the process of entertaining offers for the sale of IO. It also doesn't explain what happens to the Hitman IP once the two companies split, or what what the future holds for Hitman's new seasonal release model.

The move comes on the same day Square Enix announced record sales and profits across the company.

We've contacted both companies asking for further information on the announcement.


Comments

    Unfortunate, but I thought that this was going to happen years ago after the release of Absolution.

    Really hope this doesn't affect season 2. Looking forward to this more than any other game right now

    Deus Ex and Hitman canned in the same year, good work Square Enix.

      I haven't heard that Deus Ex is being cancelled, just that it's put on hold while Eidos Montreal work on other projects.

      Also, Hitman might survive. They just need a new publisher

        Also, Hitman might survive. They just need a new publisher
        A new publisher would only be possible if Square Enix also sells the Hitman IP. If they don't, then there are three options for a new game:

        1. IO's new owners agree to them developing another Square Enix published game.
        2. IO develops a "spiritual sequel" that plays similarly but has none of the trademarks.
        2. Square Enix finds some other developer to create the next game.

    There is a few thing this game did that bugged a lot of people which mostly likely led to It's demise
    * The episodic nature of the game
    * Always online to be able to use unlocked items (which was later patched)
    * Limited number of levels compared to older games (having to wait months for the next one)
    * No upgrade system (instead had to reply the level multiple times to unlock weapons/gadgets)
    * No suitcase for sniper even tough It's on the games cover (the amount of posts on Reddit i have seen on Reddit about this..)

      I like the Hitman series - played the first game on release and looked forward to every iteration thereafter. Played Blood Money to death (still my favourite), but admittedly Hitman Absolution failed on a number of levels for me. I haven't bought the latest Hitman, and so far I'm unwilling to do so. Something about it just doesn't sit right with me (it has a lot to do with the always online aspect of the game - I've always refused to buy any game that mandates this form of access, especially when it comes to single player games). Even now as finished 'season', the game still doesn't seem like a stand-alone product like the previous ones were (just my general feel from what I've seen on youtube and in user reviews, etc).

    Guess this means the 2nd season is thrown out the door, Not that i actually played season 1

    Fucking hilarious Square, the only good things recently with your name on it aren't dev'd by you and yet you're shitting all over them. Should have seen the red flag that was Mankind Divided's retarded marketing in hopes of getting those lucrative pre-orders to make up for the financial black hole your biggest franchise has been for almost a decade now.

    Now you let these guys go as well, guess they felt their average entry into the Final Fantasy series made enough money to make up for the next ten years of bad decisions, looking forward to another terrible CG movie where they have to become From Square Enix Atlus.

    damn i hope all goes well for io interactive.square enix should be the next target for agent 47 in season 2 of hitman

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