Hitman is one of the most popular franchises for Square Enix but the company has announced that it is looking for investors to sell IO interactive, developer of the Hitman franchise while putting the future of the widely popular action-stealth franchise in doubt.
During the recent earning call for the company, Square Enix noted a loss of 4,898 million yen in its financial results which is because of the company’s decision to sell IO Interactive. According to Square Enix, the company intends to focus on its key franchises and studios in order to achieve maximum player satisfaction “as well as market potential”.
To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. 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. This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
According to Square Enix, the company has started to look for potential investors and is also in negotiations to secure the investment but, there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will conclude successfully. Meaning if there is not investor interested in buying the studio then it will be shutdown and it also raises the question about the future of Hitman franchise.
This comes as a surprise since the last game in the Hitman franchise was one the best games in the series and the studio had also started to work on Hitman season 2 along with a new unannounced IP. Maybe the game did not do well enough for the executives in financial terms.