Square Enix Puts Financial Bull’s Eye on Hitman
Popular video game faces an uncertain future as Square Enix announces plan to relinquish ownership of series creator.
The future is cloudy for the popular Hitman series of video games following the announcement that publisher Square Enix intends to shut down or sell IO Interactive, the Danish studio that produces the series.
Square Enix has told investors that it sustained an “extraordinary” loss of $42 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. The company promised it would rebound from its losses by focusing on “key franchises and studios.”
The rebuilding plan includes divestiture from IO Interactive, the Danish game-design studio that is a wholly owned subsidiary.
Square Enix’s statement says that it will no longer support production of ongoing IO Interactive projects, which surely includes more episodes of Hitman. Square Enix said it has started discussions with investors who are interested in purchasing IO Interactive, but “there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully.”
Absent new ownership, IO Interactive could be closed, its staff laid off. If new owners materialize, it is not certain that the sale would include ownership of the Hitman series.
IO Interactive announced in August 2016 that it planned to release at least two more seasons of Hitman content. Those plans are now in limbo.