Hitman developer IO Interactive has been put up for sale by publisher Square Enix.
The studio, who joined Square's ranks back in 2009 with the purchase of their parent company Eidos, has been 'withdrawn' from the publisher's lineup since the end of March.
In a statement, Square Enix have said, "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."
There are no updates from the publisher or the studio on any potential buyers, although the statement from Square Enix also addresses the desire to sell the studio in the 'best interests' of the industry. Here is the quote in full:
"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."
The news also means that Square Enix have forecast a 4,898 million Yen (£33 million) hole in their future financials due to the sale of the studio. There's also no indication of what the sale would include.
The last game from IO Interactive, the episodic sandbox assasination Hitman, recieved a lot of critical acclaim, especially for it's second episode in the ficticious mediterranian town of Spaienza. However the publisher did come under some criticism for the way the game was released.
We'll bring you more news as it comes.