Square Enix has soothed the masses of worried fans by saying the sale of developer IO Interactive doesn’t necessary spell the death of Hitman.
That’s according to the president of Square Enix who has spoken directly to investors about the topic, Yosuke Matsuda.
Apparently, Square Enix is “negotiating with prospective external investors capable of ensuring that these titles carry on ” Of course, “these titles” mean whatever IO Interactive is currently working, and that definitely includes Hitman Season 2.
Matsuda cited the “nature of the competitive landscape in Western markets” as part of the decision to break ties with IO Interactive.
“We decided we needed to concentrate our development resources,” Matsuda said. “The decision to withdraw from that business was the result of a review of our Group’s allocation of both financial and human resources.”
Until the sale announcement on May 11, Danish developer IO Interactive had been a wholly-owned Square Enix subsidiary. But due to Square Enix posting “extraordinary loss” for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, the company decided to “withdraw from the business of IO Interactive”.
Hitman has always been IO Interactive’s biggest franchise, followed by the stylish shooter Kane and Lynch, which debuted in 2007. There was a sequel to Kane and Lynch published in 2010, but it’s always been Hitman that’s been the driving force for the studio.
Of course, the continuation of the Hitman series isn’t guaranteed by Matsuda’s words alone. There have already been layoffs at IO Interactive, as confirmed by the studio itself.
What makes us a little worried is that it’s almost unheard of for a developer to actually confirm a game franchise is cancelled, closed or discontinued. That’s just bad for business, especially where trademarks are concerned.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for a major Kickstarter campaign that would allow the very enthusiastic community to provide some support, but no news on that front as yet.