IO Interactive Goes Indie After Square Enix Breakup, Keeps Rights To 'Hitman'


Hitman developer IO Interactive is now a fully independent game studio, following its breakup with Square Enix announced last month.

Back in May, Square Enix said it had booked an "extraordinary loss" in the fiscal year ended on March 31 and among a number of measures, it was looking to sell off IO Interactive. The future Hitman remained uncertain at that point and many wondered if that was the end of the road for the game franchise. The breakup with Square Enix didn't stop IO Interactive from continuing to work on Hitman, however, and the developer has more news now.

IO Interactive Going Indie

IO Interactive has announced that it successfully concluded its negotiations with Square Enix, agreeing to a "management buyout" that will allow it to continue as a fully independent developer. The good news doesn't end here, as IO Interactive also retains all rights to the Hitman franchise.

While that's definitely good news for fans of the franchise, IO Interactive has yet to detail what plans it has for Hitman going forward. The developer has previously mentioned three more seasons of content, but no information is available yet as to when that content might hit the scene and in what form.

In its statement announcing its independence, IO Interactive takes pride in moving to the AAA digital era and making history for the past 19 years.

"Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans," says the developer.

IO Interactive adds that it's always gunning for original and real experience, and this move to become a fully independent studio marks the beginning of a new era.

"Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell," the developer further touts.

The Future Of Hitman

This is a major milestone for IO Interactive as from now on, the developer is fully in charge of the studio's future, as well as the Hitman IP. The developer notes that it's open to potential collaborations and partnerships to bolster its strength as an independent studio and ensure it can come up with the best games.

Lastly, IO Interactive also expressed its gratitude for all the support it has received from the community, players, the media, and others. The developer is also thankful for having been a part of the Square Enix family for eight years, but it's time to return to its roots as an independent developer.

While IO Interactive has no additional news regarding Hitman and its future plans at this point, it says it will return with more details next week.

It will be interesting to see whether IO Interactive will return to the standard model for Hitman or pursue the episodic model currently in place, but we may learn more about this next week. As always, we'll make sure to keep you up to date with any new developments, so stay tuned.

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