Square Enix announced today that they’ve “regrettably decided” to withdraw from Hitman and Kane & Lynch developer Io-Interactive, and they’re now looking to sell the studio.
In their statement, which warns investors of a $43 million extraordinary loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Square Enix says there’s no guarantees Io-Interactive finds a buyer:
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. This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
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.
On Twitter, Io-Interactive has responded to several messages, thanking people for their support and adding, “There’s a lot going on right now and we’ll have more to say at a later point. For now, back to making games.”
It remains to be seen what this news means for the future of the Hitman franchise, and of the planned second season for Hitman.