The Hitman franchise has long been popular in the stealth-action genre. However, the 2016 entry was among the more divisive in the series.
Considered a failure by Square Enix, this entry eventually became the reason for Square Enix’s decision to sell off developer IO Interactive. Unfortunately for the studio, nobody was interested in the purchase.
Recalling this situation, Hakan Abrak from IO Interactive described it as a difficult period, with a few companies offering a saddening $1 for the studio.
Why it matters: Generally, game studios can cost as much as a few million dollars or multiple billion dollars, depending on their size. However, this situation highlights that the HItman developer was in a dire situation at the time.
According to the CEO of IO Interactive, Square Enix hoped to sell the studio because it failed to make any money for ten years straight. This ultimately led to a situation where nobody was ready to buy the studio. He said:
“Some companies would offer $1 to take over IO because of the responsibilities and running costs.”
Plans were also discussed to cut costs and transition the studio to a free-to-play model for Hitman. However, since nobody seemed interested in an acquisition, IO Interactive was eventually able to go independent.
The CEO described that IO Interactive reached an agreement with Square Enix, where the gaming giant kept a small part of the studio. Several years later, the developer is still supporting the Hitman franchise.
While everybody seemingly rejected the studio, it has since secured the James Bond IP. According to the developer, its upcoming game will be based on the story of the first James Bond, allowing it to merge its stealth and action roots from previous games.
Nonetheless, IO Interactive is in a better spot today. The studio has multiple projects in development, and the Hitman series has also survived after a rough period.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.