Square Enix cut ties with Hitman developer IO Interactive

Square Enix has announced plans to sell Hitman developer IO Interactive after the beloved episodic stealth title failed to perform for the publisher.

In a recent note to investors, the Japanese company confirmed they had made a loss of £33 million during the financial year ending 31st March 2017.

Square Enix has confirmed it now plans to put the studio up for sale in the coming weeks and months. You can find a snippet of the statement below.

“To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.”

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According to Square Enix, it has already begun discussions with potential buyers for the Danish studio. With any luck, the talented team will be picked up by a new publisher in the near future.

The reason for the £33 million loss remains unconfirmed, although it may be linked to the cancellation of Hitman’s second season. Either way, we hope IO Interactive land of their feet.

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This unexpected split is a massive shame, especially with Hitman being one of the finest stealth titles in recent memory. Earning a 9/10 in our review, Agent 47’s latest is something special:

“Hitman is an easy contender for one of the games of 2016, and an example of how to do episodic gaming correctly. There may have been the odd technical hiccup along the way, but the end result is excellent.”

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What are your thoughts on this news? Let us know in the comments.