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IO Interactive goes independent, holds on to the Hitman IP

IO Interactive has been developing games for 19 years, including the Hitman series and also the Kayne & Lynch franchise.Back in May, we reported that Square Enix was preparing to sell or shut down Danish studio, IO Interactive.He went on to thank the players, and also Square Enix, for all the support IO has received from them.IO Interactive’s CEO, Hakan Abrak, published a letter on IO’s website to fans of the Hitman franchise, explaining what this means for the franchise.When publisher Square Enix dropped developer IO Interactive from its roster in early May, it came as a surprise to IO and fans of the Hitman series. “We’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting”. With today’s announcement, it looks like IOI isn’t done adding new content for the 2016 game.Fears of the studio’s closure were alleviated today with reports that IO Interactive will become an independent studio. Hopefully IOI will not be one of them.Square Enix acquired IO Interactive when it bought its parent company Eidos Interactive in 2009. Perhaps we’ll hear confirmation on Season 2?Now that IO Interactive is independent, and wholly owns the “Hitman” IP, it’s now free to continue working on the on the franchise. After shifting Hitman to an episodic release model, the Japanese mega producer decided that the title’s sales numbers were not on par with its expectations, despite the game garnering positive reviews.”I would like to say a big and honest 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”.”Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP”, Abrak wrote. He also thanked Square Enix and said that it was “a great family to be a part of” and that they are proud of what they’ve achieved together in the last eight years. Now that IO is independent, they do have the option of either striking a deal with another parent studio or offering up the exclusive rights to future Hitman games.