IO Interactive, the studio that recently developed the latest Hitman game, is no longer a part of Square Enix. The Japanese-based company announced via a release that said that it “regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO Interactive” as of the end of the fiscal year.
The main reason for the sale of the studio was due to finances. According to Square Enix, it had an “extraordinary loss” in the recent fiscal year to the tune of 4,898 million yen (about $43 million). However, its recent financial results indicates otherwise, with an increase in net sales and income compared to the previous fiscal year.
The news puts the future of the current Hitman title on the ropes. IO Interactive released the game’s first episode last year. Over the course of the past year, IO added five more episodes to create the game’s first “season.” It also included additional activities such as Elusive Targets, Contracts, and Escalation Mode in the base game. Last August, the studio said that it wanted to have two more seasons of content, but that plan seems to be on an indefinite hold or it may never come to fruition.
Even though the studio is no longer under the company umbrella, Square Enix said that it will look for other buyers to take IO Interactive with negotiations already in the works. Even though Square Enix is talking to outside investors, there’s no guarantee that IO Interactive will have a new owner in the foreseeable future.