Following the unexpected and sudden news that Square Enix will be splitting from IO Interactive, the team that’s been pumping out Hitman titles since 2009, fans have been left in ambiguity, speculating that they might have to say goodbye to the beloved the action-stealth franchise:
“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 its 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.”
According to a recently released transcript, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda confirmed that they are negotiating with external investors to guarantee the future of the Hitman license.
IO Interactive would have options to retain rights to the series, but it seems at this stage Square Enix is interested in securing the future of the license.
“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,” Matsuda told.“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,” explains Matsuda.