The future of the Hitman series is in flux after Square Enix announced plans to cut ties with IO Interactive. The move, according to Square, is to “focus resources and energies on key franchises and studios”. At this time, no investors have been found.
Will we see another Hitman series game?
Whether or not another Hitman game will ever be released remains unknown. It is unlikely, however, that such a successful company and IP will stay on the market for long.
History between the two companies stretches back to 2009 when Square bought up Eidos that had purchased IO in 2003. Under Square’s leadership, IO has launched four games including:
- Mini Ninjas
- Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
- Hitman: Absolution
Last year’s release of the titular game marked a new beginning for the series as well. With separate missions depending on platform and live events, the game had taken off in interesting directions. Reviewers and fans alike seemed to agree with the game scoring 84 in professional reviews and 8.1 from fans on Metacritic. Whether or not these positive numbers were reflected in sales remains unknown. Square has not released any sales data to date.
The game empowers players to perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in exotic locations around the globe. Gameplay centers on taking out targets in vast sandbox levels with complete freedom of approach.
In other news, Square’s profits are up….way up
During fiscal 2017, Square Enix saw just about everything go up including sales (+20%), operating income (+20.3%) and “ordinary” income (+22.9%) . Strong sales of Final Fantasy 15 and the PS 4 Rise of Tomb Raider anchored profits, though digital downloads and series’ revivals also helped.
According to Eurogamer, mobile games performed well including Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Kingdom Hearts Union X.
Square indicated that console competition in North America is getting stiffer and that concentrating on key IPs is the best strategy, perhaps leading to the decision to cut ties with IO.