IO Interactive, the renowned games studio behinds titles such as Mini Ninjas, Freedom Fighters and arguably their most well-known property, Hitman have become an independent games studio, after relinquishing ties with Square Enix in May of 2017.
The Danish game developer, IO Interactive announced that not only are they going the indie route, but that they have managed to retain the rights to their beloved Hitman property, promising to deliver more games in the storied franchise in the future. IO Interactive’s CEO, Hakan Abrak has posted an open letter on the official IO website, addressing the matter. He states that for IO, becoming independent is an watershed moment for them, and he goes on to thank the countless fans of their game series for all their support.
“This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting. 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.”
Abrak wrote, putting emphasis on how crucial it is for IO to have the flexibility and freedom of being independent while also still being able to work on the Hitman series. Abrak also thanked Square Enix for the support the Japanese based gaming giant provided to IO interactive over the years they had worked together. The blog post ended with a promise of more information to come in regards to Hitman and IO interactive itself in the coming weeks.
IO Interactive going independent means that they have come full circle, in that they are now once again an independent games studio. The games company in a buyout became a part of Eidos Interactive in 2004, which subsequently got taken over by Square Enix Europe in 2009. The ramifications of becoming independent are not yet known, but it will ensure that IO Interactive have the freedom to approach development that works for them as a studio, and the players that enjoy the Hitman franchise. It will be exciting to see what is next for the iconic developer.