Square Enix has announced that it will be cutting ties with Hitman Creator IO Interactive and will no longer financially support them.
Financial losses and a need to focus on key franchises are cited as the reason for dropping IO Interactive. Here is Square Enix’s full statement.
“To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly-owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.
This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
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.”
There has been no official statement made on how this will affect the current Hitman game or future titles. This could mean that the promised second and third season of content for the current Hitman game will not be made or if the right investors and deals can be made content could continue as normal.
The fate of Io Interactive is still unknown however their chance of being sold are good. Their latest Hitman game was criticized by many however most of the major criticisms were of the business model and the way content was being release. Actual gameplay and content was well received by many. As of now it would seem that the studio will be sold and continue making games under a different company however the situation is still precarious.