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Square Enix withdrawals from Io-Interactive By Wassim Mokhtar on May 11, 2017 at 3:36 AM

Square Enix Holdings has revealed they will be withdrawing from the business of Io-Interactive, a longtime subsidiary company based in Copenhagen, Denmark who are famously known for their creation and work on the Hitman franchise.

Via the company’s press release, Square Enix wrote:

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.

As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is
currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the
negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best
interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.

We at Nova Crystallis offer our thoughts and well-wishes to the talented folks at Io-Interactive.

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  • stevenm281

    I have a feeling Microsoft may put their hands on the studio, but who knows…

  • niwaar

    Losing $43million last year and producing a critically successful Hitman game releasing in the 2016 fiscal year is a pretty damning thing. I’m sure IO will find a “buyer” because the Hitman IP may have some more legs to it. But it would probably have to be someone big and Im not sure Microsoft actually wants Exclusives anymore.

  • Ryuke

    SE seem to have crazy ideals as to what it classes as a successful sales record. I remember when they released a statement when the first Tomb Raider reboot shipped 4.3 million (or something around that figure) and they classed it as a failure.
    I haven’t played the recent Hitman, but as far as I was aware it was one of the best critically received Hitman games of the whole series, so I wonder if releasing it in episodes damaged the sales?

    Either way, it’s a shame they’re going to let IO go, but I’m sure they will find a buyer as the series seems to have legs still, and if not a similar new IP would surely go down well with potential buyers if they can pitch it. I hope it doesn’t end up with Sony or Microsoft though, as multiplatform releases benefit everyone (including their sales!) instead of being kept under lock and key. Also hope it doesn’t end up with some other publishing giant like EA, or that’s the studio and the Hitman series down the drain similar to what happened with Bioware.

    Good luck IO!

  • xMysticx

    releasing it episodic helped to retain highest quality but, yes also it got hurt by its episodic treatment

  • NoctLightCloud

    “focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios”, excellent idea! I have always had the feeling that Hitman does not fit into the image of Square Enix and its other games & franchises (same for Tomb Raider. Can’t think of any other games though)

  • Justice V

    I agree with Tomb Raider, but since the reboot I feel like they’ve definitely been improving that franchise. Though old school Tomb Raider fans would disagree with me. I wonder how much of that change in style and tone for the game is due to SE influences/direction/money/whatever.

    Hitman always seems kinda fun, but have never interested me enough to play more than a demo.

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  • NewestType

    im an old school fan of tomb raider. I agree 100%
    the series has only gotten better.

  • NewestType

    tobe honest. I thought square was going for a more diverse angle with the other titles you mentioned.

  • NoctLightCloud

    Wow it’s so rare to see an old school fan admitting that :’)

  • NoctLightCloud

    Really? I always thought that taking in too many franchises is blurring their image & showing some signs of …”insecurity”? I’m not good at explaining it, but it has a lot to do with image management and franchise management. They’re in Japan and they should stick to their (very popular) JRPGs.
    It’s something like “what do you want people to think about when they think of your company?”. If 5 people say 5 different things, that is not necessarily a good thing.

  • Kyle

    For me Rise of the Tomb Raider was pretty terrible; like 2+3 were for their time. The original Tomb Raider experience and the Tomb Raider remaster were the best games in the franchise each in their own separate time periods.

  • NoctLightCloud

    I agree, Square made the right move!

  • Games Das

    There are only two true Gods of Stealth entries in gaming history – First is Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain and Second is Hitman 2016.This decision might end badly for Square Enix.

  • Games Das

    Exclusives sound better with Playstation(Sony) and not Xbox(Microsoft).If Microsoft ever knew what ‘Exclusive’ meant,it would have never released Quantum Break via Steam.