The Hitman franchise may live on, despite publisher Square Enix parting ways with developer IO Interactive earlier this month.
When Square Enix first announced that they were putting IO Interactive up for sale, the future of the stealth action franchise was unclear. An English transcript (now removed) from a meeting with investors however, seems to indicate that the company is interested in continuing Agent 47’s escapades.
"Our decision to withdraw from the IO Interactive business was the result of a review of our portfolio that we conducted as part of our effort to concentrate our resources in order to strengthen our development capabilities," said Yosuke Matsuda, president of Square Enix. "Because the firm is engaged in the development of Hitman and other renowned titles, we are negotiating with prospective external investors capable of ensuring that these titles carry on."
"Given the nature of the competitive landscape in the western markets as well as other considerations, we decided we needed to concentrate our development resources,” Matsuda added, when asked about selling IO. “The decision to withdraw from that business was the result of a review of our Group's allocation of both financial and human resources."
IO Interactive recently let staff go, following the news of their sale. "We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio,” read the announcement. “We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected. Thank you for your support and understanding."