Following its split with publisher Square Enix, IO Interactive has announced that not only has it now gone fully independent, but it’s also obtained complete control of the Hitman IP, marking a happy end to the studio’s recent misfortunes.
CEO Hakan Abrak broke the news this afternoon on IO Interactive’s website, stating that "IOI is now officially an independent studio," andhas "successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP."
Abrak called the deal a "watershed moment" for the studio, as IO now has complete control over both its own future and the Hitman IP.
"We’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting," he wrote. "We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.
"I would like to say a big and sincere thank you to all of our players, community, friends in the media and everyone else connected to the studio for the messages of support that we have received in the last few weeks. I would also like to thank Square Enix; it has been a great family to be a part of and we are proud of what we have achieved together in the last eight years. IOI started as an independent studio and we will now return to those roots with an extremely passionate and talented team.
"We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for HITMAN – and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week."