After negotiations for Square Enix to sell developer IO-Interactive, both companies agreed to a buyout which would have IO-Interactive become an independent studio. Also, following the negotiations, IO will retain the rights to the Hitman franchise as they move forward. Io-Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak said in a blog post:
“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.
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.”
With that, IOI will give away the first portion of Hitman for free for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The ICA facility level will include two story missions, two Escalation Contracts, 40-plus challenges, 17 Achievements/Trophies, and access to all ICA Facility missions designed by other players in Contracts mode. Should players decide to buy the game, their progress will be carried over and will be offered a discount for the full game. There is no word on how long this will last so if you don’t have it already, get it while you can.
What do you think gamers? Are you excited for the future of IO-Interactive? What do you want for the future of the Hitman franchise? Let us know in the comment section below and stay right here to New Gamer Nation as your source for all things gaming.