Square Enix wants Hitman to 'carry on'

The fate of Hitman studio Io Interactive remains up in the air, but it appears that Hitman itself will live on. In its financial results briefing document released last week, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda said the company is taking steps to ensure that the series carries on regardless of Io's future. 

"Our decision to withdraw from the Io Interactive A/S 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," Matsuda said. "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." 

In a follow-up Q&A, via GameSpot, he explained the decision to withdraw from Io Interactive further by saying, "Given the nature of the competitive landscape in the western markets as well as other considerations, we decided we needed to concentrate our development resources. The decision to withdraw from that business was the result of a review of our Group's allocation of both financial and human resources." 

To my reading, that could mean Square Enix is planning on continuing to develop Hitman in-house, or that, as was rumored earlier this month, it's willing to let the rights to the series go with Io Interactive. Either way, the important point is that it's another sign of Square Enix's willingness to keep Hitman going, rather than letting it slide into dormancy. As for the other "renowned titles" that Io is, was, or might be working on, that's trickier: Its non-Hitman games include the very-decent-but-dated Freedom Fighters, and Kane & Lynch, neither of which really warrant the description. There was also a brief blip of a new project in February, but the job listing that mentioned it was quickly taken down and nothing has been heard about it since.  

Andy Chalk

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.