IO Interactive is officially for sale.
Square Enix originally took control of the developers responsible for Hitman, Kane & Lynch, and Mini Ninjas back in 2009 as part of purchasing Eidos Interactive. The relationship officially ended Thursday as Square Enix announced in a press release that the company was withdrawing from the “business of IO Interactive”.
“In addition, the Company announced that it has decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly-owned owned subsidiary of the Company and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017, and that the decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen in the financial results for this Fiscal Year. For details of this announcement, please refer to the document “Notice of Booking of Extraordinary Loss” disclosed today.”
The move to part ways with IO seems completely bizarre considering that the announcement came during a press release where Square Enix talked about how the company experienced record net sales and operating income. Both Rise of the Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy XV were named as big reasons for the success, but Hitman was mysteriously absent.
So what will happen to IO Interactive?
Square Enix did mention in the press release that “as a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment.” No investors have been named as of yet, but it seems ridiculous that no publisher would want to take a chance on a company with a history of successful games.
Obviously, the most concerning aspect of this news is the future of IO’s employees. Layoffs are never a good thing. Second to that is the future of Hitman. IO currently has plans for two more seasons of content, but this too is now in question. Hopefully the Danish developer will be able to continue cranking out missions for Agent 47 because Hitman is incredibly impressive.