Last month, Square Enix revealed it was withdrawing from IO Interactive, a subsidiary studio, and was looking to divest itself of both the developer and the Hitman series. Today, that story comes to what could be a promising conclusion. IO Interactive has announced it is now an independent studio and rights holder for Hitman.
IO Interactive and Square Enix entered into negotiations to arrange a management buyout, which proceeded successfully. It included the Hitman rights. This means the company is able to continue making Hitman games, as well as work with other collaborators, partners, and publishers in the future. In the announcement, CEO Hakan Abrak thanks fans, everyone connected to the studio, and Square Enix. He also notes that IO Interactive began life as an independent studio in 1990, before being bought by Eidos Interactive in 2004.
IO Interactive is known for the Hitman series, as well as Kane & Lynch and the original Mini Ninjas game.