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Square Enix and Hitman creators IO Interactive part ways

Square Enix
Square Enix Square Enix
Square Enix

Square Enix published their financial report for the fiscal year that ended on 31 March 2017. Although they have seen an increase in the net sales and income, the company decided to drop Io Interactive.

Another financial report was released today, this one from Square Enix. The financial results for the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2017 revealed some increases in the operating and ordinary incomes.

Unfortunately, the results showed less than desirable reports considering the financial success and viability of the Hitman franchise. Square Enix bought Io Interactive's parent company Eidos Interactive in 2009. 

Io InteractiveSquare EnixIo Interactive

The report said this about the decision to drop the Hitman developers: "To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios,".

As a result, "the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of Io Interactive, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.".

Square EnixSquare EnixHitman

Now, what does this mean for the studio and the franchise. The future is still unclear, and the Hitman Season 1 did leave a lot of things up in the air. Io Interactive was planning three seasons of the episodic game. They even laid off half of their staff in 2013 to focus entirely on the Hitman project.

In cases like these, the rights to a franchise or a game usually go to the publisher. And, other than £33 million they lost investing in Io Interactive over the years, Square Enix is doing pretty well. As the report says: "For this fiscal year, the Company reported record-high net sales, operating income, ordinary income and profit attributable to owners of parent, respectively."

Final Fantasy XV, Rise of the Tomb Raider and smart phone games like "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius" and "Hoshi no Dragon Quest" were the biggest contributors during the last fiscal year. Segments like Publication and Merchadising have also seen increases in Operating Profit.

"Strong download sales of previously released catalogue titles, have led to a material increase of net sales and operating income in the area of console games, compared to the prior fiscal year.". At the very least, a part of these strong download sales must be due to the Steam versions of their older games, which could spell good news for PC players in the future. Read the full report here.