IO Interactive suffers 50% layoff
Square Enix has retooled IO Interactive as a Hitman-only dev, prompting severe layoffs...
IO Interactive, which made its name developing the assassination series, Hitman, has been the target of Square Enix's own cleaners, and half of the staff have been let go.
These “significant changes” come as part of a restructuring, with a major focus on moving the team to work purely on Hitman, specifically a “triple-A” outing for Agent 47.
Talking to Develop, Square said in a statement, “We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market.
"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."
Square acknowledged the efforts of the IO team, and will attempt to relocate those who lost their jobs in the cull, including reaching out to other developers.
Hitman is certainly IO's biggest, and best license (although I'd love to see another Freedom Fighters at some point), but even with solid gameplay and 47's popularity, the games haven’t been hugely successful when it comes to sales. It's more than a little odd, then, that Square would gather it's IO eggs in one potentially risky basket.
Still, I doubt many will mourn the loss of Kane and Lynch.