Hitman: Absolution
IO Interactive Downsizes, Will Now Only Make Hitman Games
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Square Enix has laid off almost half of the staff at IO Interactive.

The Denmark-based studio is perhaps best known for the Hitman series, but has also developed titles like Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas.

Now, however, IO Interactive will only make Hitman games. The studio has cancelled all its other projects and is focusing on the development of the next Hitman game, which is currently in pre-production.

“We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market," read a statement.

"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.

"However we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today’s market.
"For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it’s possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers.”

Best of luck to all those affected.

[via Develop]


User Comments

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #1 by PinkMistful
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:49:49 AM
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I ain't even mad. As long as we still get more Hitman then I'm happy.

Forum Posts: 193
Comment #2 by EDDS
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:50:26 AM
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Can people see now why we need to curb the used games market?

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #3 by zombieash
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:51:14 AM
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So square enix wasn't happy with their over ambitions sales predictions for the last few games (tomb raider/sleeping dogs and absolution which actually did really well) and decided to cripple a decent studio. hopefully this doesn't effect the quality of the next game.

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #5 by x_Silxx_x
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:57:41 AM
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Maybe now, the next Hitman will go back to how it used to be.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #6 by Bloody Heck
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:59:46 AM
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#2 you're right
Look at all the studios that have gone under in the last few years

Forum Posts: 77
Comment #7 by DJ DEXTA
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:00:15 PM
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Does this mean we wont be getting a patch that actually works in preventing all the game save data being deleted on Absolution!

Forum Posts: 69
Comment #9 by Vulture
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:00:53 PM
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Just yesterday i checked out IO's website and the job posts indicated they were developing Kane & Lynch 3 and were looking for multiplayer programmers.
I am really sad to hear this news.

Forum Posts: 353
Comment #10 by ModernViking
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:03:11 PM
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@9 umm you are sad about that? K&L is such trash.

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #11 by x_Silxx_x
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:06:55 PM
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@8 Even worse? In what way?

Absolution felt like another dumbed down franchise to appeal to today's gamers. Older Hitman games were/are an infinite times better. The only thing Absolution has going for it is the fact that it looks pretty.

Forum Posts: 117
Comment #12 by Soulreaper 1337
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:08:53 PM
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All of IO would have been laid off if not for hitman; K&L was the worst game series i have ever played.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #13 by PhoenixTemplar
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:15:20 PM
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Damn, I've been holding out for a Freedom Fighters 2 for years. Guess that's not happening now.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #14 by mikefizzled
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:15:51 PM
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Whilst this is bad news its also not an encouraging model to follow. If all developers went south and only made sequels It would be quite the boring industry.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #15 by 0913
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:23:16 PM
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G******it, I hope they sell the rights to Kane and Lynch, one of my favorite series this generation (at least the first game.)

Forum Posts: 1491
Comment #16 by ThePumpkinKing
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:24:47 PM
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Well, that's that. Now there really is NO chance of ever seeing a sequel to Freedom Fighters. That game was brilliant. Very promising. What a wasted opportunity.

Forum Posts: 95
Comment #17 by XenoNick
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:25:43 PM
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Gutted to hear this. =[

Forum Posts: 158
Comment #18 by el_pieablo
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:39:35 PM
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@4 any need for profanity? One persons opinion. Square Enix sales predictions where too high for the game with such a limited appeal, lets hope the affected workers find new employment

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #19 by Zenka The Myth
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:41:35 PM
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Not the biggest blow if you consider the fact that IO have only ever made 9 games, 5 of which are Hitman, so...

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #20 by My iron lung
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:54:32 PM
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Ahh c'mon one more Kane & lynch.

Forum Posts: 188
Comment #21 by lifetimegamer
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:57:15 PM
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Hopefully this means they will go back to making proper Hitman games again then.

Forum Posts: 1212
Comment #22 by ZedChuva
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:04:47 PM
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NOTHING to do with the used games market. Look at their "not Hitman" games. They all suck. THAT is why they're only focusing on Hitman and nothing else. It's like Square Enix only making Final Fantasy games. Nothing else sells. Soon there studios will only make one title and pump it out every year. Yay for diversity.

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #23 by Agent Mantis
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:09:34 PM
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freedom fighters was one of my fave PS2 games, loved the way you could chip away at things like barracks and heliports in some levels affecting things in other levels. Mini Ninjas was surprisingly decent as well!

Forum Posts: 1455
Comment #24 by tripleb2k
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:13:06 PM
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Kane and Lynch were terrible games! Blame Used Games if you want but when you release games like that, you can't be surprised no one buys them!

Forum Posts: 590
Comment #25 by Chaos MAN
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:17:55 PM
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@2 and 6. Game studios aren't going out of business because of used games, they're going out of business because the games they're making are shit that nobody wants to buy for 60 bucks.

Forum Posts: 161
Comment #26 by Mad Man
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:33:09 PM
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I'm a fan of Hitman games... but this sounds like a risky move.

Forum Posts: 231
Comment #27 by Infomouse
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:33:36 PM
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Hitman: Absolution sold upwards of 3 million "new" copies, and was deemed an absolute failure by Square Enix. If they can't make bank on that kind of return, maybe they should look at their OWN business practices, before those of Gamestop.

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #28 by cheevo360
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:33:55 PM
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Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww man. :(:(:( Sorry to knew about it. IO Interactive is one of coolest developers and they bought us many great Hitman series. Yes Kane & Lynch series weren't good enough for them that is why K & L series is medicore.

I pray IO going be well with new Hitman game in future.

Good luck to many people that got laid off.

Yes I agreed with some that not because of used games it is because of expensive new games or even used games that came with high price.

So price of games were top reason that many players to avoid some or many games and wait for price drop. That is affect many developers and publishers of course.

Nevermind. I hope IO getting better and better one day future.

God i worry about Insomniac Games now cos Fuse didn't sale very well and I not want to see another good developers getting laid off or closed down. :/

IO, you all my heart. Bless all of you.

Please keep hard work and take time with new Hitman game. :)

Forum Posts: 107
Comment #29 by Gilganomics
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:37:40 PM
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If only the games were a little better, so much potential.

I hope someone does something with the Freedom Fighters brand before the sun dies.

Also, despite avoiding used games as often as I can, I won't let that be a crutch for company mismanagement, or Triple-A gambles not paying off. Publishers (and devs) need to stop using "throw more money at it" as a logical business strategy. Deep Silver puts out 70%-rated mediocre games and they're doing just great, because they don't bloat themselves with notions of every IP selling millions of copies.

Such a dangerous playing field these days.TL;DR

Forum Posts: 271
Comment #30 by macd
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:43:47 PM
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Mini Ninjas was a good laugh actually.

To be honest, I don't think Absolution is that good a game. Hitman seems to have improved massively in many respects but Hitman 2 is still the best of the games.

I guess the really sad bit is that a game needs to sell such a high number to break even and a ridiculous amount before you make a real profit.

Forum Posts: 175
Comment #31 by Roose91
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:45:09 PM
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Fuck. They are probably my favourite studio after Bethesda and Rockstar. This really is awful news. Have played Hitman since Blood Money and loved them all (yes, even Absolution) but thought Kane and Lynch were both pretty average unfortunately. Hope those who have lost their jobs can find financial security a.s.a.p. and IO can continue to operate doing what they do best: Hitman.

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #32 by Krovash
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:48:35 PM
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Damn those are some sad news, i heard they were planning to make Freedom Fighters Sequel D:

Forum Posts: 550
Comment #33 by Terrin
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:51:54 PM
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Square enxis sales projections have to be large due to some other failed ventures , ala ff 14 having to be canned and remade now cost them quite a bit with nothign to show for it so other studios have to pick u the slake (not saying this is how it should be but it is how the industry works)

besides that I was hoping on freedom fighters

Forum Posts: 410
Comment #34 by Optomistic
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 01:51:56 PM
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@2 and #6 get outta here. Microsoft sent you to troll.

They were simply investing too much money into IP's that weren't returning their investment. Blaming the used game market is just scaremongering and trying to take attention away from the real issue.

Forum Posts: 118
Comment #35 by Cyano Khaar
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 02:28:49 PM
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I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing. I mean...the Hitman games are fantastic and I love the fact that they are only focusing on that series, but it's a shame people lost their jobs. The Kane and Lynch games were pretty meh and I'm glad to see them go.

Forum Posts: 1339
Comment #36 by Creasy47
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 02:36:12 PM
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I'm fine with this. Hitman is one of my favorite series - sans 'Absolution' - so if they go back to the SA/Contracts/BM roots, I'll be happy. 'Absolution' was just way too different for my tastes. Give me numerous levels/locations/settings with one or more targets in each and I'm happy.

Forum Posts: 197
Comment #37 by Katarn
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 03:00:32 PM
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List of video games[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)

2000 Hitman: Codename
2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
2003 Freedom Fighters
2004 Hitman: Contracts
2006 Hitman: Blood Money
2007 Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
2009 Mini Ninjas
2010 Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
2012 Hitman: Absolution

this is a list of all IO games. So its not a big loss.

@3 sleeping dogs was made by square enix and so was tomb raider. Not IO so we should see sequels to those games.

Forum Posts: 1491
Comment #38 by ThePumpkinKing
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 03:25:16 PM
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@37 I take a freedom fighters sequel any day over the trashed they've released in recent years.

Also, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider both under-performed according to expectations by Square. So I wouldn't hold your breath for sequels. Square is in trouble. Not THQ trouble. But it isn't far off with how poorly they're handling their franchises. Perhaps they'll turn it around next generation. Announcing Kingdom Hearts 3 was the smartest move they've made in years. But they've invested far too much into bullshit sequels that no one is buying.

Forum Posts: 1903
Comment #39 by Metabolic XBA
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 03:26:11 PM
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@2 You're a fool if you think that's true. If MS's stance on used games and their heavyhanded approach to Indie developers RE self publishing and costly updates were an industry standard there would be studios closing every other day. The only people to blame for this are Square Enix.

Forum Posts: 175
Comment #40 by Yourburntstar
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 04:13:15 PM
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I'm really looking forward to a new Hitman on Xbox One can't wait.

Forum Posts: 3050
Comment #41 by Dirty130
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:01:13 PM
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But I want Kane & Lynch 3..

Forum Posts: 289
Comment #42 by davhuit
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:11:27 PM
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With the quality (ironic) of Hitman Absolution, they would stop the series that I wouldn't ever care, and that's a hardcore hitman fan who says that :/

The best is still, for now, Blood Money.

Absolution's gameplay was perfect, it's a nice evolution of Blood Money, but have two giants flaws :

- The disguise system is broken, so it's better to play like Splinter Cell (crouching all of time).

- 95% of the levels are crap. There are probably only four nice missions and two of them are in the same map (Chinatown). The two in Chinatown, the one in the little sand village and the mission just after, the one with Lenny. There is also the map cut in several pieces, Hitman always had open world map.

That's the story which made the game shitty, because the levels has been designed with the story in mode, but no one play Hitman for the story (the story was really bad by the way, looks like a B-Movie).

If they keep the same gameplay (except the disguise, which they need to get back the Blood Money version) and redo the same styles of missions like "Silent Assassin/Contracts/Blood Money", it could be the perfect hitman game, but I don't think that will happen.

Forum Posts: 289
Comment #43 by davhuit
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:16:04 PM
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(fixed : *with the story in mind*)

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #44 by SJFaith
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:18:28 PM
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Now i know why Kane and Lynch were in a rush to get on that plane not that a sequel would have cleared things up I'll just assume they went into early retirement despite going on the plane waving guns around at people lol

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #45 by The Kingslayer
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:31:34 PM
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@2 Don Mattrick is that you ?

Forum Posts: 182
Comment #46 by Ephidel
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:44:35 PM
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Like a lot of people, it's concerning to know that we'll not see a Freedom Fighters sequel anytime soon.

As for Kane & Lynch, that was absolute trash. The first one was better, but that's not saying a lot. With the money they wasted on those, I'm not surprised to see this move by Square Enix.

Absolution was great, but I had my doubts pre-release. After having played it extensively though, I can safely say I'd probably buy the next one on, or closer to, release (depending on what's coming out at the time). That said, they really shouldn't try to compete with release windows on or next to huge games like the inevitable sequels we'll be seeing from other devs. Thankfully, Square Enix have been mostly aware of that though.

Forum Posts: 158
Comment #47 by el_pieablo
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:54:35 PM
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@37 Sleeping Dogs was made by United Front Games and Tomb Raider my Crystal Dynamics. Square Enix published them

Forum Posts: 106
Comment #48 by tincann
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 08:52:36 PM
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Too many people don't know the difference between a publisher & the maker of the game.

They refuse to buy a game from a certain publisher, not getting it through their thick skulls, that they didn't even make it. This is more of a cause of studios shutting their doors, as well as releasing shoddy pieces of crap for $60, not anything to do with used games.

Used game allow a lot of gamers to be able to play more games than they would normally be able to afford. You take away used games & it's not going to change. All that's going to happen is people are going to just buy LESS games.

Forum Posts: 35
Comment #49 by BC32
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 09:31:26 PM
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Only making hitman. Sounds great! Waiting every 3-5 years for a Hitman game sucks.

Forum Posts: 1339
Comment #50 by Creasy47
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 09:40:54 PM
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@38, completely forgot about 'Freedom Fighters.' I would kill for a sequel to that game.

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #51 by Godfather93a
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:38:53 AM
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@48 I fucking know right? I.E. The Evil Within SOO many people asked, "why is Bethesda doing this instead of Fallout 4?"

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #52 by XxMayhemxX
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 01:29:42 AM
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This is both good and bad news... Good news becuz Kane and Lynch sucked balls.. bigtImE...Good riddance to bad rubbish as they say.. a couple of the K&L games are still in the bargain bins for less then 10 bucks and they've sat there for like a year or more... In fact one of them are like in most worst game ever categories for this generation.

Bad News...
The only real loss here is Freedom Fighters!!! Now that game was fun! Maybe someone else will pick up that series. OH also the ppl being laid off, hopefully they get opportunities elsewhere..

Forum Posts: 172
Comment #53 by FoxTenson
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 09:41:32 AM
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This is very sad, another studio falling victim to the stupid AAA mega sales only BS going around. We need more than the same game over and over again, the people in charge nowdays have no clue what gamers want, just what they think the stockholders will like.

Used games are not to blame, no other market has suffered over selling used, in fact it supports the industry. Most people who sell their games put the money or credit towards a new game or system. That money they get for trading in DOES go right back into the studios. It's healthy, just like with cars and appliances, being able to recoup costs towards something new. Studios just want to blame anything other than themselves, and somehow live in a fantasy world where every used sale would be a new purchase otherwise. Time to pull their heads out of their rectums and see the light, and maybe more studios can avoid this fate.

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #54 by Dothackbear
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 01:37:54 PM
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kane and lynch is better than that generic as hell army of 2 series, the coop was really fun. I also liked it because they tend to drop in price pretty quickly. Not sad over this but i will miss the series slightly

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #55 by mvz3rovm
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 10:22:25 AM
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Good news, keep up the good work. I enjoyed Hitman Absolution :)

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Game Info
IO Interactive
Square Enix


US November 20, 2012
Europe November 20, 2012

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