The outlet was told of a new IP named "Project Dragon" had come up in talks between IO and Microsoft. Those reports were corroborated by Eurogamer, whose sources explained the project is "AAA in scope though still very early in development".
Project Dragon is reportedly a connected-world RPG, with various job listings searching for multiplayer network programmers—one (now-pulled) listing spotted by Windows Central even lists the team name as Dragon. Eurogamer's sources elaborated, saying the game would take place in a "medieval-esque world" featuring, yes, dragons.
As the best-performing game in the series, Hitman 3 has left IO in a strong position. The studio has already revealed that it'll be taking its espionage expertise further with Project 007, and recently opened up a new studio in Barcelona to assist development. In interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Hakan Abrak teased that the new office was already helping develop the new IP.
"Without going into too much detail, we have a third universe that we're working actively on, which is a bit different and absolutely a love child," said Abrak. "It is something our core people, our veteran staff, have been dreaming about for some time."
None of this has been officially confirmed or announced by IO Interactive, of course, and these rumours may turn out to be just that. But even if this appears to be a huge departure from the studio's expertise, I'd pay good money to see Agent 47 slip into some chainmail and garrotte a dragon.