Skip to main content

Square Enix could sell Hitman franchise along with IO Interactive

HITMAN - 'Legacy' Opening Cinematic
Square Enix and Hitman developer IO Interactive will soon part ways, with the publisher announcing plans to either sell or shutter the studio in the near-future, but the Hitman franchise could still live another day. Square Enix has revealed that it could also sell its rights to Hitman along with IO Interactive to ensure that the series — and its recent reboot — can continue as planned.

“Our decision to withdraw from the IO Interactive business was the result of a review of our portfolio that we conducted as part of our effort to concentrate our resources in order to strengthen our development capabilities,” said Square Enix presient Yosuke Matsuda in a financial briefing. “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.”

This would certainly be the best-case scenario, as it would allow IO to continue working on the second season of Hitman as originally planned, but should Square Enix fail to find a buyer for the studio, history shows us that there is still some hope. Following the liquidation of THQ, Darksiders developer Vigil Games was dissolved and several of its employees went on to form Gunfire Games. The studio then partnered with publisher Nordic Games to create Darksiders III, which was just announced earlier this month.

It would certainly be a shame for the Hitman series to come to an end. The games have helped to shape the stealth-action genre, with the most recent game offering unparalleled creative freedom and an online service structure that allows for continuous content updates. There isn’t another game on the market that lets you assassinate Gary Busey in cold blood.

Hitman is out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. A complete first season physical set is also available.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Square Enix Symbiogenesis NFT project disappoints Parasite Eve fans
Logo for Symbiogenesis, an NFT art project by Square Enix.

Square Enix finally revealed Symbiogenesis, a project fans discovered the company filed a trademark for last week. While people speculated that this name would apply to a new Parasite Eve project, fans of that series were disappointed to find out that it's not a new Parasite Eve game, but rather an NFT project.

When Square Enix filed for the Symbiogenesis trademark last week, fans believed that it was related to Parasite Eve despite the trademark not mentioning the game at all. Parasite Eve is a horror RPG series rooted in science and genetics, but it hasn't gotten a new game since The 3rd Birthday in 2010. The term symbiogenesis refers to a scientific theory that involves two organisms combining into a single entity that then continues to grow and evolve with the combined attributes of the original organisms. As this theory is part of the foundation for the original Parasite Eve book the series is based on, it's easy to understand why fans thought there could potentially be a connection.

Read more
Embracer Group has already shut down former Square Enix studio
Deus Ex Go

Embracer Group has reportedly shut down the game studio Onoma, formerly known as Square Enix Montreal. The studio has best known for creating mobile games of Square Enix's Western franchises such as Lara Croft Go, Hitman Go, and Deus Ex Go.

It was announced in May that Embracer Group would purchase Square Enix's Western studios and have control of certain franchises like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex. The timing of Onoma's closure is strange given that it was renamed from Square Enix Montreal only just last month.

Read more
Embracer fully acquires former Square Enix western studios

The acquisition of Square Enix's western studios and their IP by Embracer Group has been approved, completing the acquisition of the major studios and over 50 IPs including Tomb Raider and Deus Ex.

While the purchase was announced in May, the conditions and approvals for the deal were not finalized until August 26, fully completing the transaction as detailed on Embracer's official site. The newly acquired studios are set to form Embracer's 12th operative group led by Phil Rogers. Further details, likely in regards to the name of this operative group and a new name for Square Enix Montreal, are expected at a later date.

Read more