IO Interactive confirms layoffs

Ben Parfitt
IO Interactive confirms layoffs

Hitman developer Io Interactive has confirmed an unspecified number of job losses.

The news follows hot on the heels of the shock announcement that owner Square Enix is looking to sell the Danish studio.

"Today at Io, we had to make some changes to our studio, which will allow us to be better equipped for our future adventures,” a statement reads. "We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio. We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected."

The presumption is that reducing the headcount and expenses sheet will help facilitate a sale, although for the time being that is nothing more than speculation.

The future of Io was thrown into doubt earlier this month when Square Enix announced that it had put the studio up for sale. Io was acquired by Eidos in 2004, which in turn was acquired by Square Enix in 2009.

Io's most recent release was the episodic Hitman, which has fared extremely well with critics. However, the decision was recently made to scrap its planned second season of content, suggesting the commercial performance has been less favourable.

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 wholly?owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31st 2017,” a note from Square Enix said.

This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898m (33m), including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets.”

Square says that it is already in talks with potential new owners, but warns that this may amount to nothing – which presumably would result in Io's closure.

As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment,” it added. 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."

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