Hitman studio Io Interactive suffers layoffs

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The future of the Hitman series was put in jeopardy earlier this month when Square Enix announced plans to "withdraw from the business" of developer Io Interactive. The situation seemed to brighten shortly after, when a rumor surfaced indicating that Io will retain the rights to Hitman and proceed with work on the second season. But an update tweeted today indicates that less than two weeks after the studio was put on the block, it has been forced to let employees go. 

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The number of employees affected by the cuts isn't known, nor is the status of Square Enix's efforts to sell the studio. It's obviously not good news, but the potential upside is that reduced staff levels could help make Io more attractive to potential buyers. It's also possible—although this is purely speculation—that the layoffs are a condition of a buyout agreement that's been reached but not yet announced. 

A Square Enix rep said the company has no further comment at this time. I've reached out to Io Interactive for more information, and will update if I hear more.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.