Hitman developer IO now fully independent, keeps Hitman rights

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Last Month, Square Enix revealed that it had cut Hitman developer IO Interactive loose, and the future of the bar-coded, bald assassin was in jeopardy. In a new statement, the developer revealed that sanity has somehow prevailed. IO is now officially an independent developer again – and has kept the rights to Hitman.

“I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio,” reads the statement. “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.”

The last Hitman, an episodic game, was actually really good – but it seems consumers were put off by its format. Here’s what we said of the game after its first season concluded:

“Agent 47 is back and better than ever. The first season of Hitman has produced the definitive Agent 47 experience in a world of intrigue, espionage and murder. Not only the best Hitman game ever made, but also one of the top contenders for game of the year.”

Last Updated: June 19, 2017

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Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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