The future of Hitman is a little up in the air right now because Square Enix has announced it is cutting ties with developer IO Interactive. The Japanese publisher is withdrawing from the business altogether.
The decision has come after Square Enix posted “extraordinary loss” for the financial year ending March 31, 2017, with a whopping 4,898 million yen ($42.9 million/£33.2 million) loss marked by the company.
“To maximise player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios,” read the official statement. “As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO Interactive, a wholly-owned subsidiary”.
“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.”
At the moment, it’s unclear what is going to happen to the Danish studio. Aside from the Hitman series, the team has also been behind crackers like Kane & Lynch. But from the sounds of Square Enix’s statement, the publisher is looking to accept offers for buying IO Interactive.
The studio has yet to make an official statement on the news, but there has been some activity on its Twitter feed, including replies to supportive tweets that suggest they’ll “have more to say at a later point” but for now the studio is concentrating on “making games”.
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
The episodic version of Hitman launched in stages throughout last year and was crowned a phenomenal success. Each level, whether you were exploring the huge Parisian chateau, creeping through back alleys in Sapienza or donning a medical gown in Hokkaido, was expertly crafted with enough content, humour and fun to be had over repeated play.