Layoffs hit IO Interactive: Almost Half of the Staff Gone, Projects Cancelled – Studio Focusing Solely on a “New AAA Hitman Project”

Sad news out of IO Interactive today, as it has been announced that almost half of the staff has been let go, with “significant changes” as Square ‘aligns’ their “business against a changing and challenging market”.

Amidst these changes, every project at IO has been cancelled, aside from a new AAA Hitman, and Hannes Seifert has been appointed Studio Head, where he had previously been Production Director for 3 years.

For a little more information about the restructure, here’s the official statement on the matter from Square Enix Europe, retrieved by GI.Biz:

We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market. Hannes Seifert, formerly Production Director for 3 years at the studio, will take over the position of Studio Head at IO.

The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. However we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today’s market.

For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it’s possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers.

What do you think about IO having half of the staff laid off to solely focus on a new Hitman? Let us know in the comments below.