Square Enix’s Hitman Studio Suffers Lay-Offs

By Ishaan . June 17, 2013 . 4:20pm

Back in March, Square Enix announced that Hitman Absolution, among other Eidos games, had failed to sell as well as expected. Then, earlier this morning, Hitman developer IO Interactive announced that they’ve been hit with lay-offs.


“We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market,” the studio said in a statement sent to Develop Online.


“Hannes Seifert, formerly Production Director for 3 years at the studio, will take over the position of Studio Head at IO. The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new triple-A Hitman project.


“However we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today’s market.”


The statement added that IO are working on finding new jobs for the affected staff, either internally at other Square Enix studios or by contacting other companies.


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  • puchinri

    Ouch. That’s really unfortunate and disheartening to hear. It’s nice that they’re helping them find work and I hope all goes well though.

  • Huh. I guess a lot people didn’t like Nuns who fight back.

  • Warboss Aohd

    maybe Square Enix shouldn’t have tried makin’ 2 MMOs, THE hardest genre to make, an’ expect 3 gamez ta sell a number o’ copiez dat is up dere wit’ Battlefield an’ Call of Duty.

    • What’s the second MMO, besides XIV?

      • myausicz


        • I wouldn’t say XI, given that it’s one of their best successes. And it is older than WoW. I though someone would’ve said Wakfu, instead. Since that came out last year. But then again, Wakfu was developed by Ankama in Fance and published by Square Enix for America.

        • Warboss Aohd

          ok 3, though XI haz been around awhile an’ woz successful.

          jugglin’ 2 MMOs iz a major risk, let alone 3, when dey borked it up wit’ 14 da first time dey should have cut dere losses.

      • Solomon_Kano


        • There we go, thanks! I forgot about that one.

          • Solomon_Kano

            No prob.

    • Strid

      Or you know, just stop making mediocre “stealth” and open-world games. The world doesn’t need any more of them anyways.

      • z_merquise

        I won’t say Sleeping Dogs as mediocre. That game is great.

        • Strid

          It may be, hell, even the worst of games have their fans, but I’ll tell you what it doesn’t look great on, SE’s books.

    • Kelohmello

      You know their first MMO still makes more money than the rest of their titles right?

      • Warboss Aohd

        yeah, but no one else haz been crazy enough ta try an’ juggle THREE o’ dem.

        Da risk involved in dat iz higher than most.

  • SirRichard

    Square Enix’s ridiculously high expectations are starting to take their toll, and we’re going into a brand new generation of hardware right now. I’m seriously hoping they wise up at some point, because when you’re laying off half a workforce and cancelling so much work, you’re going to have to realise at some point that there is a problem with what you’re doing.

  • oh square enix how the mighty have fallen

  • Poor sales of Absolution

  • DCBlackbird

    d’oh!!!! MY HEART!!!

  • Solomon_Kano

    That’s sad to hear.

  • Just Tim

    How about making realistic sales goals, as in, NOT CoD-levels?


    The beginning of end that I predicted years ago i becoming more and more evident by the day.

    An industry built around games that need to sell millions just to break even is a bloated hollow shell that will collapse in upon itself soon enough.

    The new generation is only going to make things worse and there really is no middle ground for developers to turn to, that middle ground died with the PS2 generation. This industry has cornered itself atop a precipice and all that is left now is to fall.

    I already have myself a bunker stacked with 8-16 bit titles, the gameocalypse will not affect me.

  • Gilgamesh2025

    Wow, didn’t expect that at all! Now I’m sad … :(

  • GibbRS

    What a shame. Hitman Absolution was the best game in the series, IMHO.

    • AJ

      It was the first Hitman game I had ever played, and aside from a few segments (like the helicopter chase, which was…..weird) it was a really fun stealthy-open world-y type game that had me re-playing levels over and over and giggling like a maniac every time I found a new way to torment people.

      I can’t believe that selling 3.5 million physical copies of the game counts as a failure. Were the developers being paid in truck fulls of gold and diamonds?

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