Hitman’s Future Unclear as Square Enix Puts Dev up for Sale

Hitman’s Future Unclear as Square Enix Puts Dev up for Sale

The future of the Hitman franchise could be in jeopardy, as Square Enix announced today that they will sell developer IO Interactive.

In a note to investors, the publisher reported an “extraordinary” $42 million USD loss for the financial year ending March 31, 2017. The company attributes this loss to the planned sale of the Danish studio.

"To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios," Square Enix said in the statement. "As a result, the company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of [IO Interactive], 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."

The statement seems to imply that the studio also has had to halt production on more Hitman content. In August last year, IO said they had plans for three seasons.

Square Enix said it has started discussions with potential new investors, although they add that there is no guarantee that negotiations to secure investment will be successful.

“[Negotiations] are being explored since this is in the best interest of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.”

The wording of the document doesn’t provide assurance as to IO’s future. In the event that new investors can’t be secured, it’s likely that the studio will be shut down.

Square Enix picked up IO  Interactive after they bought Eidos in 2009. Square Enix’s western wing now manages Eidos’ franchises, including Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Thief. The company recently put a hold on the Deus Ex franchise to shift focus on  a multi-game Marvel project, and a new Tomb Raider.

Source: Eurogamer, GameSpot


Relevant Articles


Comments Comments (5)

Posted by mchumdinghy
On Friday 12 May 2017 11:47 AM
This is such a shame, I have heard nothing but good things about the new Hitman. Hope IO land on their feet. Games development seems to be getting harder and harder. There doesn't seem to be any tolerance for the middle ground anymore, either you make a low budget indie that manages to get some light, or you have to make a AAA blockbuster in order for a publisher to stay interested.
Posted by jamesg
On Friday 12 May 2017 11:50 AM
A little part of me just died inside...
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Friday 12 May 2017 1:06 PM
So if IO Interactive is sold does that mean they will come with rights to the Hitman IP or will Square Enix retain the IP and thus possibly use it in future with another developer?

IO Interactive with the Hitman IP is a potentially lucrative invest for another publisher, without it not so much.
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Friday 12 May 2017 3:04 PM
Let's hope Nintendo or Sony don't buy them xD
Posted by RKO_NZ
On Sunday 14 May 2017 9:46 AM
Just like how Agent 47 is, looks like he might dissapear, but don't worry, he'll emerge from the shadows when he's needed. Its kind of sad because I really enjoyed the series and was one of the more serious, complexr games I picked up playing whilst I was younger which got me into series like Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell because of the preparation and planning aspects of games. No doubt it'll be picked up later by another company, maybe Deep Silver, maybe Ubisoft (just thinking of studios I can recall purchasing IP's or taking over studios lately) I guess only time will tell.