Hitman studio lays off almost half its staff, taking another swing at franchise

Dark clouds may have formed over Square Enix's financial future months ago , but that doesn't make the storm of layoffs at IO Interactive any less surprising or disheartening.

In a statement to Develop , Square Enix confirmed that almost half of IO Interactive's staff has been laid off. What makes this news particularly depressing is Hitman Absolution actually saw decent sales, but 3.6 million units sold (and that's only physical copies) still wasn't enough to hit Square Enix's lofty expectations.

So what does this mean for IO? The studio has cut production on all non-Hitman projects while attempting to refocus on the next Hitman game.

"The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project,” Studio Head Hannes Seifert said. “However, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today's market."

Hitman Absolution may not have scratched our homicidal itch, but we still wish everyone affected the best of luck.

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