IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak has announced that Hitman developer IO Interactive is now an independent video game development studio. The studio was part of Square Enix.
In a recent press release, Abrak states that the company is "proud to announce" that it is now officially an independent studio. Both parties have agreed to a management buyout and IO Interactive will retain all rights to the Hitman franchise.
According to Square Enix, the decision is costing the company an extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, roughly $43 million USD.
Although Hitman did reasonably well in terms of sales, the game's seasonal downloadable content model was both loved and hated for various reasons and may have been a major factor in the profitability of the title.
Square Enix acquired IO Interactive when it bought its parent company Eidos Interactive in 2009. Now that IO Interactive is an independent studio and retains the Hitman franchise rights, the future of the shooter game seems to be looking up.
The studio states that it will announce more details for its plans for the franchise next week.
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