Square Enix wants to keep the Hitman franchise alive despite withdrawing from Io Interactive A/S, said president and representative director, Yosuke Matsuda.
In a report on Square Enix’s financial results, Matsuda revealed that withdrawing with Danish developer Io Interactive A/S may not mean the end to Hitman. “Our decision to withdraw from the Io Interactive A/S business was the result of a review of our portfolio that we conducted,” said Matsuda, “as part of our effort to concentrate our resources in order to strengthen our development capabilities.”
Matsuda further explained Square Enix’s reasoning for withdrawing from Io Interactive A/S, telling GameSpot that “Given the nature of the competitive landscape in the western markets as well as other considerations, we decided we needed to concentrate our development resources.” Matsuda continued, “The decision to withdraw from that business was the result of a review of our Group’s allocation of both financial and human resources.”
As a result of Square Enix no longer doing business with Io Interactive A/S, Io Interactive announced that it would be laying off some of its employees, according to the IO Interactive official Twitter account. Also, Square Enix will be selling Io Interactive A/S since they will no longer be doing business with them. The solution that Square Enix has come up with is to search for outside investors to invest in the series.
“Because the firm is engaged in the development of ‘HITMAN‘ and other renowned titles, we are negotiating with prospective external investors capable of ensuring that these titles carry on,” said Matsuda.
Just a few weeks ago, it was rumored that Io Interactive A/S will release the second season of DLC and keep the rights for Hitman, according to PC Gamer. The website that published this news, German website Gamerstar.de said that the information comes from reliable sources despite neither Square Enix nor Io Interactive A/S confirming these rumors. It seems that with Square Enix pushing to keep the Hitman franchise, Io Interactive A/S will most likely not be involved in the second season of DLC.
Since Hitman’s release back in 2016, the game has sold 140,000 copies on Xbox One and 370,000 copies on PlayStation 4, according to VGChartz. Sales numbers were not available for PC. The previous Hitman game, Hitman: Absolution released back in 2012 sold more copies than Hitman. It sold 250,000 units on PC, 2.14 million units on PlayStation 3, and 1.73 million units on Xbox 360. In an interview with TechCrunch, Io Interactive A/S creative director Christian Elverdam was satisfied at the sales (as of late 2016) despite the difference between the newest Hitman game and Hitman: Absolution.
“We feel like Hitman is a success. We can’t talk about that too much specifically. We’re pretty happy,” said Elverdam.
On Metacritic, Hitman for PlayStation 4 received a metascore of 84 based on the reviews from 40 critics. The Guardian gave Hitman a perfect score, saying “Hitman is unquestionably the finest game in the series. It might be one of the best stealth games ever made.” The full review from The Guardian can be found here. One commenter, Chillywilly23, referred to the game as “such a masterpiece.”
“If you love stealth and action games you need to at least give this a chance,” Chillywilly23 further said.
Nothing has been confirmed as to what either Square Enix or Io Interactive A/S will do with the Hitman franchise moving forward. It seems that trying to get outside investors involved is a step in the right direction, but no one can determine whether or not this will happen. Future Hitman games are up in the air, and if they are made, they could be either similar or completely different to the Hitman franchise its fans know and love.
Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames.