Square Enix released a statement for its investors announcing intentions to sell the studio behind the Hitman series.
According to the statement, the decision of focusing their “resources and energies on key franchises and studios” is what led Square Enix to break away from Io-Interactive. A decision that caused an extraordinary loss of 4,898 million yen (equivalent to £33.5 million).
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/S, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.
This loss is not only due to the separation from the studio but also the cancellation of all ongoing projects related to it.
This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
Square Enix is currently looking new investors for the studio but it doesn’t give any guarantees to find one, which puts Io-Interactive’s future in jeopardy.
Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.
Not only that but at the moment it’s uncertain what will happen with the studio’s games. No details were given about the nature of the transaction Square Enix is negotiating. We don’t know if the studio’s intellectual properties will be sold together with the developer. Io-Interactive’s portfolio includes the popular Hitman franchise, Freedom Fighters, Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas. The studio had plans to continue with the Hitman series and there was news of a new unannounced IP.
Until a new investor is found for the studio, all future plans are on hold. Io-Interactive’s answer is simply that they’ll continue to work until they have more to say about this.
Thanks for the support, Dave. There's a lot going on right now and we'll have more to say at a later point. For now, back to making games.
— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 11, 2017
Stay tuned to find out what happens with Io-Interactive and the Hitman series.