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Square Enix To Sell 'Hitman' Studio IO Interactive

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.

  • dstarr3
    I don't understand this industry. Why do bad things happen to good studios?

    If anyone wants to point the finger at underwhelming sales, point it straight at the always-online DRM for a single-player game.
    Reply
  • 0ldsch00l
    Who cares? IO is a great dev company, enix big time pubs are making a bad decision, if they think mickey mouse and branglina Croft are gonna get them money now. ARE THEY MENTAL? New Hitman was a megaatomic bomb and is still in progress with the episodic content, its their creme de la crop and they are dropping IO? Bah enix got them during absolution got hollywood actors to voice absolution and now they are ditching with Hitman 2016? I hope this doesnt kill the 2nd season, lets see who pick them up, hey if they got big without enix before absolution, with codename 47 silent assassin and contracts and bloodmoney they dont need enix, screw the big time let them go indie how they started
    Reply
  • KirbyKirby
    Yikes. So who owns the license to Hitman now? Is it still Squeenix or does IO own it?

    I didn't particularly enjoy the episodic release format, but otherwise Hitman is a great game.
    Reply
  • 0ldsch00l
    IO does, they made it, what pubs do when they offer mula is say ok all next titles in our name after this with the contract. Devs get a new shinny car and night out in strip clubs and they are happy....

    Valve did that with CS and gooseman the original mod creator for HL, they ended up giving him the shaft.... now valve thinks they pwn CS name

    Enix doesnt own anything, IO will always be the creators and may have it "leased" to whoever buys them but Ill have to say when it comes to those who dont sell out like Remedy or IO or and yes Ill say it JOHN CARMACK. The games they make are always revolutionary, so was valve pre steam with original HL. But now uhh no comment on FB/Steam bs
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Imagine the next installment of 'Hitman' being developed by hipster SJWs in Canada. It could happen! ;)

    Does CD Project Red have enough cash? It's the same continent, at least. I heard Apple was looking at possible dev studio purchases. This is certainly one way to get their feet wet.
    Reply
  • 0ldsch00l
    19677816 said:
    Imagine the next installment of 'Hitman' being developed by hipster SJWs in Canada. It could happen! ;)

    Does CD Project Red have enough cash? It's the same continent, at least. I heard Apple was looking at possible dev studio purchases. This is certainly one way to get their feet wet.
    No cause IO danish hipsters are the devs!!!

    Reply
  • clonazepam
    19677833 said:
    19677816 said:
    Imagine the next installment of 'Hitman' being developed by hipster SJWs in Canada. It could happen! ;)

    Does CD Project Red have enough cash? It's the same continent, at least. I heard Apple was looking at possible dev studio purchases. This is certainly one way to get their feet wet.
    No cause IO danish hipsters are the devs!!!

    In my scenario, they are purchased to obtain the IP and either absorbed or disbanded. :D
    Reply
  • KirbyKirby
    Do you know that IO owns the rights to Hitman, or are you just assuming? Bungie developed Halo, but Microsoft owned the rights to the franchise. IO originally developed Hitman under Eidos Interactive's house, and then Squeenix later acquired them.
    Reply
  • 0ldsch00l
    19679188 said:
    Do you know that IO owns the rights to Hitman, or are you just assuming? Bungie developed Halo, but Microsoft owned the rights to the franchise. IO originally developed Hitman under Eidos Interactive's house, and then Squeenix later acquired them.

    Hmm good questions, I think with Eidos they were better. but in todays capitalist age I think its safe to assume the publisher owns the rights, which is why I militantly beleive copyright laws are the theft not file sharing, but lets not get into that....
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    19679443 said:
    Hmm good questions, I think with Eidos they were better. but in todays capitalist age I think its safe to assume the publisher owns the rights, which is why I militantly beleive copyright laws are the theft not file sharing, but lets not get into that....

    It can't be considered "theft" when a publisher is buying the rights to a game series, and paying for the games made in that series. If an independent developer owned the rights, then it's ultimately their decision whether they sell those rights for a quick, guaranteed profit, or keep them for potential future profits that may never come. If they choose to sell the rights to a publisher who thinks they can make use of them, then that's their choice, and they shouldn't be upset if the publisher goes on to make lots of money off the franchise down the line. There will likely be nothing stopping them from creating a "spiritual successor" to that series later on.
    Reply