CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Square Enix Divests from Hitman Developer

Posted: 11th May 2017 16:56

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Square Enix announced today that they are "withdrawing" from IO Interactive, the gaming studio most recently working on the Hitman franchise, at the end of the conglomerate's current fiscal year on March 31, 2018. This withdrawal appears to be taking the place of a divestment from the developer, and not a winding down and closing of their studios in Denmark; however, should Square Enix and IO not find a new investor in that time, it seems more than possible that the studio would in fact need to close.

IO Interactive have been the sole developers of main-series Hitman games since the origin of the franchise. However, due to Eidos' purchase of IO and Square Enix' subsequent purchase of Eidos, the Hitman IP appears to belong to Square Enix at this time. It's not yet known what would occur with this IP in the case of a transfer of investment; my suspicions would be that it would be allowed to stay with IO if a new investor is found, or kept by Square Enix if one is not. Neither Square Enix nor IO Interactive have put forth any further details at this time.

Square Enix is expecting to take a single-time loss of roughly $43 million to divest from IO Interactive, which is obviously a very large number even for a company of their size. This appears to be an acceptable loss for the company, who commented that they are using the opportunity to "[focus] our resources and energies on key franchises and studios," which likely means reinvestment in Japanese studios and possibly Eidos Montreal? It's hard to tell where all they have active things ramping up these days.

Source: Polygon
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Posted: 11th May 2017 18:30

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Is SE hanging on to Eidos for the time being still?

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Posted: 11th May 2017 18:52

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No indications otherwise. I think Eidos brings far more to the table than IO Interactive did, at least in the realm of worldwide distribution. That's just speculation on my part, of course, but I don't think Square Enix would look to lose access to the Deus Ex and Tomb Raider franchises, even beyond the distribution networks that Eidos provides.

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Posted: 11th May 2017 19:01

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Phew. And Legacy of Kain. Don't forget that...

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Posted: 30th May 2017 11:55
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Thanks a lot for sharing this post.

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