news\ Jun 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm

IO Interactive goes independent; Retains complete control of Hitman IP

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IO Interactive goes independent; Retains complete control of Hitman IP

It has been a bit nerve-racking to be a Hitman fan these for the last month or so. In May, publisher Square Enix announced they would be selling off the Hitman developer, IO Interactive. Fans weren't sure what this meant for the Hitman franchise. Is it canceled, will Square Enix hold the rights and have someone else work on it, would another studio force IO Interactive to make it into something fans don't want? All these questions raced through our minds but now, we have been put at ease.

Today, IO Interactive has announced they're going fully independent, meaning they own themselves. It's unclear if they'll self-publish but we may hear more about that later down the line. IO Interactive also revealed they have complete control over the Hitman IP and they many plans for it going forward. You can read a statement from IO Interactive's CEO, Hakan Abrak, below.

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. 

This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting. We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.

I would like to say a big and sincere thank you to all of our players, community, friends in the media and everyone else connected to the studio for the messages of support that we have received in the last few weeks. I would also like to thank Square Enix; it has been a great family to be a part of and we are proud of what we have achieved together in the last eight years. IOI started as an independent studio and we will now return to those roots with an extremely passionate and talented team.

We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for HITMAN – and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.

Thank you.

Hakan,
Io-Independent

We'll hear more from the team regarding the future of Hitman next week, stay tuned to GameZone for when that news hits.

[IO Interactive blog post]

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