There was much fear in gamers worldwide when Square Enix decided to part ways with IO Interactive. Who would be left with the rights to Hitman, and where would this leave the critically acclaimed and beloved latest release in the series? A second season was expected for the episodically released game, and it came as a shock to many, myself included, when Square Enix severed ties with the Danish developer.
However, today on their official site, IOI have revealed in a statement from their CEO, Hakan Abrak, that they have become an independent studio and concluded negotiations with Square Enix to retain all rights and therefore creative control over the Hitman IP.
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.
Breathe a sigh of relief fans of the barcoded, bald, badass; Hitman will continue in a safe pair of hands and IOI have promised more details on their plans for the series in the coming weeks. You can read the companies full statement here if you so wish.
Source: IOI official website