CEO Hakan Abrak is proud to announce that IO Interactive will retain “complete control” over the direction of the studio and the Hitman IP.
Square Enix announced earlier this year that it intended to “withdraw” from business with IO Interactive due to extraordinary losses. This decision, which was followed by a series of layoffs, put the future of IO in question and worried fans of Hitman. After negotiation with Square Enix, IO has confirmed that they have agreed to a management buyout which will allow them to keep operating and retain the rights to Hitman.
This is particularly good news for fans of Hitman. IO Interactive moved towards an unusual episodic format for their new Hitman title in 2016 and have been met with a positive reception. Year One featured over 600 in-game objectives, dozens of weapons and costumes, and more than 100 hours of gameplay not counting the thousands of player-created contracts. IO had promised least two more seasons of hunting targets and creative kills before the news broke.
Of course, our plan is to have three seasons. Although Season Two hasn’t been confirmed yet.
— HITMAN (@Hitman) August 6, 2016
Going forward IO Interactive will act as an independent studio and retain the rights to the franchise. They will be able to control the direction of the series moving forward and hopefully deliver on that promise of two more years of content for Hitman. IO is also now free to begin new projects and work with new collaborators on future content which is an exciting prospect.
Io-Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak had this to say:
Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.
This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting. We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.
You can read the full message here.
Have you played Hitman season one? Are you happy IO Interactive will be able to keep doing what they are doing?
This article first appeared on DVSGaming.org