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IO Interactive Becomes Independent Studio, Retains Rights to Hitman

The former Square Enix dev studio is going it alone and taking Hitman with it.

News by Tom Orry, .

Hitman will continue development at IO Interactive following the studio’s move to independence. IO has concluded a management buyout with Square Enix and announced that the rights to Hitman are coming along for the ride.

News of IO’s independence came in a blog post from IO-Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak:

"...I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP," stated Abrak.

"As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting," he added. "We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community."

The latest Hitman has been a big hit with fans.

Abrak added that IOI wants to encourage more players to try out the new Hitman, with more details on how they’ll do that coming next week.

Back in May Square Enix revealed it was looking to sell IOI, and it was assumed the dev house would be picked up by a publisher, with Hitman’s future looking uncertain. Fans will no doubt be thrilled to know that the franchise is staying with its creators.

It is unclear if other IOI developed properties, such as Kane & Lynch remain owned by Square Enix.

Hitman: Season One ranks as one of the best PS4 games of all time. Take a look at what else you should buy in our guide.

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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #1 VotesForCows A year ago
    Great news - though it sounds as though they need some financial support or partnership in the short term. Hopefully this goes well for them. I still haven't played the new Hitman, but I admire what they've done with it!
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  • Avatar for Nuclear-Vomit #2 Nuclear-Vomit A year ago
    Still longing for that Howie Mandel/Pitbull/Kingpin/Professor X DLC.... Hitman will never enter the mind of the mainstream without it.
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