Being an in-game assassin can be a bit frustrating and hard at times, yet it can be extremely rewarding if you make the perfect kill, especially if you play as every gamer’s favorite hitman, Agent 47. Unfortunately, the iconic character might enter retirement soon, after news broke out that Square Enix is parting ways from series developer IO Interactive.
According to Gamespot, the Japanese gaming giant is withdrawing from IO after it posted a fiscal-year loss of $42 million. "To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios," said Square Enix in an official statement. “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.”
The huge loss IO incurred might be a surprise for some, considering the episodic Hitman game was well received by critics and fans alike. Despite the positive reception, it couldn’t translate into high sales figure, with Absolution shipping 3.6 million copies in a few months after launch, while Hitman only sold around 600,000 copies.
Square Enix’s withdrawal effectively puts all of IO’s projects on hold, including the second and third season of Hitman. It’s also unclear whether the rights of Hitman will be held by IO or Square Enix, as they look for a new investor for the development studio.
Whatever it is, we can only hope they’ll reach a fruitful resolution, because it’ll be a shame to see such a decorated franchise like Hitman getting cast aside, especially when the latest entry is arguably the best alongside Bloody Money in its 17-year history.