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Hitman Series Stays With IO Interactive As It Officially Goes Indie

Negotiations with Square Enix have concluded in a management buyout and the right to keep the popular IP.


When publisher Square Enix dropped developer IO Interactive from its roster in early May, it came as a surprise to IO and fans of the Hitman series. The move forced layoffs at IO, even as publisher Square Enix sought investors for the developer and the franchise. But it now appears that everything has settled down. IO has announced it is fully independent and has retained the Hitman IP.

"This is a watershed moment for IOI," the company said in a blog post on its official site. "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."

No details were offered on who might have invested in the company to allow it to make the move, or if the company was allowed to keep its other IPs, particularly Kane & Lynch. However, the official site still lists open jobs it is trying to fill for its Glacier 2 engine.

"IOI started as an independent studio and we will now return to those roots with an extremely passionate and talented team," it said, encouraging fans to keep having fun with Hitman. "We have more details to come on our plans for that next week."

We'll keep a close eye on any new announcements coming next week.

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