IO Interactive‘s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner, Hakan Abrak, has opened up about the studio’s amicable split with publisher Square Enix, which saw the developer retain rights to the Hitman franchise.
In an interview with Game Informer, Abrak revealed that Square Enix “lost faith” in the franchise following “historically low” sales, thanks in part to Hitman‘s episodic release format.
It was called a Trojan Horse strategy, just get people in and if they like it, they will upgrade. Maybe we’ll get a whole lot bigger volumes in the start and hopefully we can convert these people if they like the game. That was the strategy. The skepticism and, ‘What is this?’ and ‘Is this early access from a big publisher?’ and what not, it ended up being historically low sales – a historically low start. And over time, even our publisher – and owner – back then lost faith.
Hitman has always had somewhat of a cult following so Abrak doesn’t seem to blame Square Enix for its decisions. However, he’s keen to move on to the new 007 project once the trilogy concludes later this month. However, this doesn’t mean IO is abandoning Agent 47. Far from it. As Chief Creative Officer Christian Elverdam puts it, IO Interactive is “creatively hungry” and “curious.”
“In a way I think it’s poetic that Hitman, in its prime in a way, was the beginning for IO as an independent company,” Elverdam told Game Informer. “Right now, it’s also the beginning of IO as an independent company, because the first title that we launch is the ending of this conclusion.”
Hitman 3 will release on January 20th.
[Source: Game Informer]