In what has been the best news of the morning, Io Interactive had gone indie as a studio and will keep control of the Hitman IP.
In a blog post over on their official page, CEO, Hakan Abrak took the time to discuss the history and future of the now independent studio:
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.
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
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.
Congratulations to the team at IoI, we’re excited to see what these hardworking, talent developers have up their sleeve. I’m surprised the studio wasn’t picked up but the result is satisfying after a turbulent month for the devs.
We're now officially an independent studio & we have complete control of the Hitman IP!
— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) June 16, 2017