Square Enix has announced that they are officially withdrawing from IO Interactive, the Denmark-based studio working on HITMAN. The Japanese game developer and publisher announced this in a notice on their website.
SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS CO., LTD. (the “Company”) announces today that it has booked the following extraordinary loss in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.The notice is for an extraordinary loss, which means that the company has taken a hard financial hit as a result of an unusual event or transaction (more info here).
Here's what Square Enix says caused this loss and their subsequent withdrawing from IO Interactive:
To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017. This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.
As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.What this will mean for the second season of HITMAN is anyone's guess at this point, although Square Enix is still the rightsholder to the intellectual property. This, however, may change in the future.
Io Interactive have taken to Twitter to respond to users wanting to know more about what this means for HITMAN. While they have nothing concrete to share at the moment, they reassure players that they'll talk more about it after the dust settles.
This announcement comes as a bit of a surprise to most of us, especially because last year's HITMAN reboot got released with enthusiasm from both players and the gaming press, noting that the game's seemingly random switch to an episodic format worked out better for the game than people expected.
What do you think of Square Enix withdrawing from IO Interactive? Let us know in the comment section down below!