Some three weeks ago, we wrote about Square Enix and their desire to sell IO Interactive. Although the parent company reported record profits for the fiscal year, they were not too pleased with how IO Interactive and especially Hitman performed. At the time it was still unclear whether Square Enix would be keeping the rights to Hitman or they would be up for sale, but times they are a-changing.
As can be confirmed from the company’s financial documents, the publisher is ready to sell off Hitman rights in the same package with IO Interactive. This makes sense, as the studio knows the IP inside out and the last year’s game really knocked it out of the ball park in the review department. Hitman was first released episodically, with each episode providing a huge number of challenges increasing the replay value. It would be a very big surprise if the studio is actually not in full development of Hitman Season Two, and if the team is to be separated from their IP, they might actually have to scrap all their hard work.
Yosuke Matsuda, the Square Enix president, talked about this situation to investors: “Because the firm is engaged in the development of Hitman and other renowned titles, we are negotiating with prospective external investors capable of ensuring that these titles carry on”.
The future of IO remains at stake here – there have been some layoffs lately, which might suggest some form of internal reorganization. Perhaps they are getting ready for the potential buyers to be a more interesting, slim-down version of the company. We will pay attention to any scrap of news regarding this, as IO Interactive is a well-known and established developer and many fans are worried about what the future holds for them and their Hitman IP.