Earlier this year, some serious doubt was thrown towards the future of the Hitman franchise when Square Enix put IO Interactive up for sale. Last month a German gaming news site, Gamestar reported that IO Interactive would however still retain the rights to the Hitman IP. Gamestar stated that “We can not reveal any further details on the origin of this information, but we would like to state that the information is absolutely reliable and secure”.
Today, IO Interactive have finally broken the silence and put an end to rumours regarding their Hitman franchise. Io-Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak posted the following message on the official website:
In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era. Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans.
There are many tales of hope, dreams, hardship and joy within these walls. We have never strived for the expected or predictable. Instead, we are always in pursuit for what feels original and real. Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell.
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.
Abrak also thanked players, the media and members of the gaming community, including Square Enix themselves, for the support they’ve given to the developer and teased that they will have more information to share with everyone within the next week.
Hitman Season 1 was an outstanding game and we’re quite excited to see what IO Interactive will have in store for us in the near future.