Square Enix has announced that it has dropped Hitman developer IO Interactive, with the publishing giant now in the process of negotiating with investors to purchase the studio.
The shock move comes following the company’s latest financial briefing, where it stated “To maximise player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios,” before confirming it had “withdrawn” IO’s business.
Square Enix had originally got chummy with IO Interactive back in 2009, after the industry giant purchased the developer’s parent company, Eidos Interactive. The decision to withdraw IO’s business came into effect on March 31, which probably explains why we have not heard anything about Hitman Season Two as of yet.
Elsewhere, financially speaking Square Enix is doing extremely well at present, with titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration on PS4 and Final Fantasy 15 performing well. In fact, it was the publisher’s best result to date in terms of operating income and net revenue, eclipsing its previous best for FY 2010.
The future of the Hitman series remains up in the air at present, although hopefully IO Interactive will find a new home soon enough. Season One of Hitman, which hit PS4, PC, and Xbox One last year, was met with critical acclaim, although given Square’s decision it would appear the games did not perform as expected financially.