IO Interactive Discusses Square Enix Buyout, And The Future Of Hitman

Last week, we talked about IO Interactive moving on from its ownership under Square Enix and [...]


Last week, we talked about IO Interactive moving on from its ownership under Square Enix and getting to work on the next game in its best-selling Hitman franchise. But there's more to the story than simply moving on from a parent company.

The CEO of the company, Hakan Abrak, recently had a chance to sit down with GamesIndustry International to discuss the falling out between them and Square, and what going independent meant for the team.

"We went through with the management buyout because we believe, deep down in our core, that we need to feel, breathe and act independently," he explained. "We need to be free to embrace and live directly with our fans and community, and free to make fundamental decisions for the studio and our games, within our own halls."

That said, the company is leaving the door open when it comes to working with others, even though it wishes to keep its independence. "We believe that being independent makes us far more attractive to work with, when it comes to the motivation to succeed with our games," he added.

While the team isn't quite ready to discuss what players can expect from its next Hitman game – which is in development, Abrak made it clear that the team didn't want to stop working on the series. "Look, we feel like we're onto a good thing with our latest Hitman game," he said. "We've changed how we work, and as a studio we've never felt more confident and more in control of knowing what we're doing. I think our Game of the Year Edition is a testament to that. We learned so much during the first season of this game, and by the end we felt like a well-oiled machine."

Even though the team has faced some trials – and some layoffs – in its shift to become independent, it appears to be a move that's paying off for the long haul, especially as the team moves into development of Agent 47's next adventure. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see what he gets done in his upcoming Hulu series.

Hitman: Game of the Year Edition is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.