Square Enix Looking To Sell Hitman Studio IO Interactive

Despite the praise given to last year’s fantastic Hitman, Square Enix are bringing their ownership of IO Interactive to an end, deciding that it’s best for the publisher as a whole to simply withdraw from the studio’s business and take a writedown of $43 million.

This has been accounted for in Square Enix’s financial results for the fiscal year ending on 31st March, and marks a clear cut in Square’s investment in the studio. However, they are looking for potential new investors to take on IO Interactive, the release stating:

As a result of this the Company [Square Enix] 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.

What this means for the Hitman franchise is unknown. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Hitman will be the property of Square Enix, The ownership and rights to that and other IO Interactive games like Kane & Lynch will naturally come up in any negotiations.

Our thoughts go out to the developers at IO, and we hope the studio can be rescued. After all, we want to see what happens in Hitman Season 2!

Source: Square Enix

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  1. Well that’s a surprise. I thought season two was happening for sure. Square enix do have a history of unreasonable sales targets and I’d bet the release method of Hitman affected the sales.

  2. That is rather surprising due to Hitman being a massive success and Square had a superb year. FFXV did well and if i recall, broke the franchise’s sales records.

    I do hope that either IO goes independent(sadly, it would mean no more hitman games from them along with their other IPs) and find a new future for themselves or Bethesda(the publisher) or someone like Bethesda instead of EA, Konami(If they somehow realise that games is what they are somewhat decent at and if they started doing games again, they could make a lot of cash). Bethesda the Publisher is very hands off, it seems and give smaller studios a chance. Arkane was given a chance with Dishonoured etc..

    However, I can see Square expecting Hitman to sell bajillions despite it being nowhere in the same field as a usual game, in terms of release. Episodics tend to have lower sales, i would expect due to people wanting to hold off on buying.

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