Hitman Developer IO Interactive Announces Layoffs
IO Interactive, the Square Enix owned studio behind both Hitman and Kane & Lynch, announced today that it is cutting down on its staff. These layoffs come after the news of publisher/owner Square Enix's plans to sell IO Interactive.
"We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio," reads a statement from IO Interactive that was posted on Twitter today. "We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected." You can read the full statement below.
An update from the studio: pic.twitter.com/k0aoms5cOQ— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 23, 2017
Two weeks ago, Square Enix announced that it planned to part ways with IO Interactive, to instead focus on "key franchises and studios." The future of IO Interactive remains unclear, but in its statement on Twitter, it clearly mentions "future endeavors" which points to plans for upcoming projects despite significant changes.
Last year, IO Interactive announced that the studio was aiming to release more Hitman content, to have a total of three seasons for the episodic game. It's uncertain whether these plans are still concrete.
Layoffs are always unfortunate to hear about, and I hope those affected can find employment elsewhere swiftly enough. IO's move towards an episodic structure for Hitman seemed to have hurt the series more than helped it. The game received mixed reception, even once the full season was out. It's likely that these layoffs are a result of Square Enix's decision to part ways with IO Interactive. Perhaps a leaner, smaller team will make the studio appear more lucrative for potential investors. IO Interactive's future is unclear, but hopefully they can regain footing once under new ownership.