More signs of troubled times at Hitman developer IO Interactive. As you may have heard, Square Enix recently made the surprise announcement that they’re offloading IO Interactive, despite the publisher accumulating record-high revenue and profits last year. Unfortunately, Hitman was about the only thing that lost money for Square Enix, so I guess it had to go.
Ah, but perhaps things weren’t as gloomy as they seemed! Apparently, IO Interactive would get to keep the Hitman license, and another season of content for the latest episodic entry in the series was still on the way. So, IO Interactive were going to make through these rough waters just fine, right?
Well, not so fast. We haven’t heard anything about a new company stepping up to buy IO Interactive yet, and now the studio has announced a round of layoffs.
An update from the studio: pic.twitter.com/k0aoms5cOQ— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 23, 2017
"Today at [IO Interactive], we had to make some changes to our studio, which will allow us to be better equipped for our future adventures. We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio. We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected. Thank you for your support and understanding."
Layoffs are rarely a good sign, although IO Interactive may have made the cuts to streamline the studio to make it more attractive for sale. Unfortunately, the developer seems to be in a bit of a state of limbo, and if a buyer isn’t found soon, IO could be in serious danger of closure. It seems crazy that nobody would step up to buy the guys behind the Hitman games, but it’s crazy Square Enix cut them loose in the first place. Clearly, I don’t have a stomach for business.
Hitman is currently available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.