Io Interactive and Square Enix have reached an agreement considering the Hitman IP. Square Enix agreed to a management buyout. Io Interactive is going back to their indie roots.
Back in May, financial reports were all the rage. Square Enix published their own and the report showed less than desirable results considering the financial success and viability of the Hitman franchise.
"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 Enix acquired Io Interactive's parent company Eidos in 2009.
Since May, the fate of Io Interactive and the Hitman series has been in question. Today, however, we got some very exciting news from Io Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak: "IOI is now officially an independent studio".
Io Interactive concluded their negotiations with their previous owners, Square Enix and "have agreed to a management buyout". This means that they "will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP". Break out the champagne.
Mr Abrak called this a "watershed moment". From this day forward, Io Interactive will have complete control over the direction of the studio and their 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".
He went on to thank the players, the community and their friends in the media as well as everyone else connected to the studio, for the messages of support they've received during the course of the negotiations. Mr Abrak also thanked Square Enix saying that "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".
Io Interactive will now go back to its roots as an independent studio. Mr Abrak closed the announcement with a tease: "we want to encourage more of you to try our game". We will have more details on the type of encouragement in the coming week.