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