Change is one of the few constants you can expect in the video game industry. From new games being made, to new takes on games being done, to studios getting members or losing members, the industry is very fluid. But sometimes a change happens that you just don’t expect, and yet the result is something that seems like a rather good thing. That’s the case with IO Interactive, the developers of the Hitman series, who announced that they have gone completely independent.
What does that mean? Well, they have been a part of Square Enix for a while now, publishing a lot of their recent titles under them. That meant that Square Enix had a lot of say in what their titles could and should be. But, as they revealed on their website, they’ve agreed to a buyout, and now they’re an independent studio.
“Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout.” said CEO Hakan Abrak.
The most interesting twist though is that they’re getting to keep full rights to the Hitman series IP. This means that they have the ability to make whatever kind of Hitman game they want, and have no one but themselves to answer to. That’s a lot of freedom for an indie studio. This also means that they can ship their games to virtually any system or publisher they want:
“We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.”
Given the current state of video games, this is a big move. Could we see Hitman go to the Nintendo Switch in the possible future? And what kind of Hitman game will they make next? We’ll just have to wait and see.