Square Enix has decided to withdraw from the business of IO Interactive, the Danish studio behind the Hitman franchise. The publisher is currently looking for potential new investors to pick up the company.
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.
IO Interactive was founded in 1998, with Eidos later acquiring the company in 2004. IO Interactive then became part of Square Enix when the Japanese company bought Eidos in 2009. Under Square Enix, IO Interactive developed several titles, such as Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Hitman: Absolution, Hitman, among several other titles. The future of the Hitman IP and other IO Interactive franchises remains unknown.