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Io Interactive Buys Itself From Square Enix, Will Continue With the Hitman Franchise

Io Interactive A/S has released a statement today after they were dropped from Square Enix, saying that they have become independent and will continue making more games for the Hitman franchise.

Here is the letter posted on Io Interactive A/S’ official website, from CEO Hakan Abrak:

In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era. Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans.

There are many tales of hope, dreams, hardship and joy within these walls. We have never strived for the expected or predictable. Instead, we are always in pursuit for what feels original and real. Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell.

Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. 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.

We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for HITMAN – and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.

Thank you.


Originally, Square Enix said that they wanted to find outside investors to keep funding the Hitman franchise, but it seems like they were willing to make an agreement with its developer. Many fans were worried about the future of Io Interactive A/S, especially since they were dropped from a huge publisher like Square Enix.

Since Io Interactive A/S was the company who created the Hitman franchise, if creative control were to be given to Square Enix, then it’s always possible that the game would change in future updates or in future games.

Hopefully, with this purchase, Io Interactive can start creating season two DLC for the most recently released game in the Hitman franchise, Hitman and create more AAA Hitman games in the future. Abrak commented that more information on the next step for the Hitman franchise will be coming next week, so fans should be on the look out for updates in the near future.

Featured image via Io Interactive’s official website.

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