Despite its warm reception last year, the future of IO Interactive's hold on the Hitman series is in doubt following parent company Square Enix's decision to sell the Danish outfit.
Speaking via an investor's note released today, Square Enix highlights an "extraordinary loss" within the last financial year as a result of the proposed sale—despite recording record year-on-year profits in its latest financial results. The note claims the loss totals 4,898 million Yen, which translated to roughly £33.3 million/$43 million.
Here's Square Enix's statement in full:
"To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.
"This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
"As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole."
Take from that what you will, but the wording there suggests IO—who, under Square Enix's ownership, is currently working exclusively on the Hitman series—will be shuttered if a buyer is not ascertained.
We reached out to Square Enix for comment, however were told the publisher is not yet in a position to do so.