Square Enix’s current announcement that it plans to divest ownership of Hitman developer IO Interactive got here as a shock, and it raised a variety of questions. Chief amongst these: What does this imply for the way forward for Hitman?
When Square Enix first revealed its plans to discover a sale of IO, it didn’t point out whether or not the Hitman IP could be offered off with it; it wasn’t out of the query that Square Enix might maintain onto the rights and permit the franchise to turn out to be dormant. But that does not look like the plan, primarily based on a newly launched English transcript of Square Enix’s post-earnings outcomes briefing.
“Our decision to withdraw from the IO Interactive business was the result of a review of our portfolio that we conducted as part of our effort to concentrate our resources in order to strengthen our development capabilities,” Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda defined. “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.”
That final bit is the place the promising information is available in. Whether it sells the Hitman IP rights together with IO or is prepared to license them out, there’s apparently a willingness on Square Enix’s half to permit Hitman to proceed. As for the opposite “renowned titles,” IO can also be the developer of the Kane & Lynch sequence. It is–or was–also at work on a new IP.
During a subsequent Q&A, Matsuda was requested for additional specifics concerning the choice to promote IO. He responded, “Given the nature of the competitive landscape in the western markets as well as other considerations, we decided we needed to concentrate our development resources. The decision to withdraw from that business was the result of a review of our Group’s allocation of both financial and human resources.”
Since the information first got here out, IO has suffered a round of layoffs, the extent of that are nonetheless unknown. The transfer might sign a possible sale or could merely be a transfer to make the studio extra engaging to potential consumers. There’s not but any phrase concerning who may be serious about shopping for the studio.