Io Interactive Now Independent, Full Owners of Hitman IP

Hitman developer Io Interactive is now an independent studio, news coming after their former parent company Square Enix distanced themselves from the developer and tried to sell them off to the highest bidder.

The news was confirmed via company CEO Hakan Abrak, over on the developer’s official website. Alongside the news that Io is now independent is that they’ve miraculously retained the rights to the Hitman IP.

Here’s the entire message from Abrak:

In its 19 years of history, Io-Interactive has brought you original and exciting entertainment; from Mini Ninjas and Freedom Fighters to gaming’s most notorious criminals Kane & Lynch and of course our beloved Agent 47. With our latest game, we have not only transformed Hitman, but also moved our entire studio into the AAA digital era. Our live product has disrupted the video game business and has received recognition and praise from press, community and our fans.

There are many tales of hope, dreams, hardship and joy within these walls. We have never strived for the expected or predictable. Instead, we are always in pursuit for what feels original and real. Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell.

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. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.

This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting. 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.

I would like to say a big and sincere thank you to all of our players, community, friends in the media and everyone else connected to the studio for the messages of support that we have received in the last few weeks. I would also like to thank Square Enix; it has been a great family to be a part of and we are proud of what we have achieved together in the last eight years. IOI started as an independent studio and we will now return to those roots with an extremely passionate and talented team.

We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for Hitman – and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.

Thank you.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • DrearierSpider
  • Jack

    How to ruin a game/Franchise 101
    let Randy Pitchford touch it
    it’s the power of his Stand

  • OSad

    Well, I don’t know if they’ll stay independent for long, but congrats I guess.

  • Madbrainbox

    Good luck to them.

  • Uncle Ocelot


  • Neojames82

    Keep that fucking loser away from Hitman and this company in general…

  • Neojames82

    Well, good on them at least. Sadly as some have said though, someone will probably buy them out again. Hopefully though, it will be at least one of the better Euro publishers (NOT UBISOFT THOUGH) and not a shitty American one.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    EA should be getting a little peckish right about now…

  • Neojames82

    Oh they are always peckish aren’t they…

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    You probably don’t have to worry about Ubisoft any time soon since they gorged not too long ago.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    Randy’s a fucking piece of shit.

  • Random Dude

    Best of luck for them.

  • Mr0303

    Good on them. I think they’ll be better off without Square looming over their shoulders and making dumb decisions.

    We need more independent A/B studios. Curious to see how they’ll handle their next game.

  • GuyGuysonEsquire

    Bitchford wants to inject Hitman with latest hip memes he found on 9gag.

  • Fenrir007

    No… NO!!!!

  • SiliconNooB

    In all fairness, at least Square didn’t completely gut the company.

  • Mr0303

    Yeah, it could’ve been worse. They could’ve applied EA’s tactics.