For many years now, Square Enix and IO Interactive worked together on releasing titles under the Hitman franchise. This is because IO Interactive’s parent company Eidos Interactive was acquired by Square Enix many years ago, and by extension IO Interactive as well. Unfortunately it looks like Square Enix is done with the company.
The company has since officially announced (via Kotaku) that they are looking to split with IO Interactive and are currently speaking with investors at possibly selling the company off. It is unclear why Square is done with IO, but the company’s statement reads that it is being done “to maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward”, and because of that they have “regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE”.
Square’s statement reads, “As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.”
It is unclear as to what will become of the studio and the franchises that they hold under their belt, namely Hitman. A recent tweet by the company following Square’s announcement doesn’t really say much, but hopefully the future of the Hitman franchise will remain intact.
— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 11, 2017