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Square Enix To Sell Off Hitman Devs Io Interactive
Well this is a shame. In the latest financial report Japan-based publisher Square Enix decided to part ways with the Danish company Io Interactive, famous for Hitman, Kane & Lynch as well as cult hit Freedom Fighters.
In the press release, Square Enix announced that the company has recorded net gains this year with titles such as Final Fantasy XV and the PS4 version of Rise Of The Tomb Raider being the main contributors for game sales.
Despite the net profit, Square Enix is still going to let go of Io. Another paragraph from another press release states this:
“As a result of this the Company 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.”
In other words, there is no confirmation on what the fate of Io Interactive, its staff or its IPs at the moment.
This decision to part ways with Io costs Square Enix around 43 million USD in loss. That’s a massive loss just to let go of the company. Hence, the amount is classified as an “extraordinary loss” in the financial report.
Io Interactive’s last game, simply titled Hitman, was a mix of experiments. An episodic release with an always-online requirement for stat tracking, timed events via the Elusive Targets and also brought back the classic sandbox gameplay fans of the series were looking for. Despite how great it is now that the first season is out in full, it probably did not meet sales expectations made by Square Enix.
Square Enix has recently put Deus Ex on hiatus and is focusing its Western developers for the licensed Marvel Avengers project. In other news, there are also reports of Mass Effect being put on hold as well.
2017 is not a good year for Western game IPs.