It almost came as a shock when Square Enix announced that it is looking for a buyer for IO Interactive and Hitman franchise, however, the studio is now independent and has reverted the episodic structure of Hitman and now Square Enix has revealed that it let go of Hitman franchise for its Marvel Games.
Speaking with GameIndustry, Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said that the company could not support Hitman franchise in terms of allocating development resources and without the investment, the company would have ruined the franchise.
Whether it’s our Western studios or Japanese studios, at Square Enix we sometimes end up with conflicts or shortages in terms of resources. I felt that if we were not able to continue sufficiently investing in Hitman, it could wind up ruining the game – so we found ourselves in a difficult position.
A decision had to be made in terms of our relationship with the Hitman team. I wanted them to continue to develop the game, but I thought in terms of investing further in the game it would be best if they worked with another partner other than ourselves.
The conflict of resources if because of the company’s partnership with Marvel that will see multiple games developed based on Marvel comics.
According to Matsuda, Square Enix has already dedicated “considerable development resources” of its Western Studios to ensure Marvel Games live up to the expectations.
IO Interactive, on the other hand, has been working on Hitman franchise and has confirmed Hitman season 2. According to the devs, season 2 of the game will feature new locations and more.
According to Hakan Abrak, Studio production director at IO Interactive, Hitman Season 2 will be arriving with new locations and cities along with more free content like Elusive Targets and Escalation Missions.
Source: Game Industry