No wonder IO Interactive and Square Enix have parted ways.
The first Hitman reboot (in an episodic format) was published by Square Enix, but IO Interactive (IOI for short) managed to regain Hitman’s IP rights from the publisher. The sequel was then published by Warner Bros. Interactive, but even they were left behind by IOI, as they will self-publish the final part of the reboot trilogy.
Hakan Abrak, the CEO and co-owner of IO Interactive told Game Informer (who also showcased the first five minutes of Hitman III the other day – we have shown this before) that the sales were low with the episodic format they tried: „It was called a Trojan Horse strategy, just get people in and if they like it, they will upgrade. Maybe we’ll get a whole lot bigger volumes in the start and hopefully, we can convert these people if they like the game.
That was the strategy. The scepticism and, ‘What is this?’ and ‘Is this early access from a big publisher?’ and whatnot, it ended up being historically low sales – a historically low start. And over time, even our publisher – and owner – back then lost faith,” Abrak said.
Christian Elverdam, the chief creative officer of IOI, added that Hitman III (which will launch on January 20 on both current-gen and next-gen consoles, as well as the Epic Games Store on PC) will not be the end of Agent 47, as the studio is creatively hungry and curious: „In a way, I think it’s poetic that Hitman, in its prime in a way, was the beginning for IO as an independent company. Right now, it’s also the beginning of IO as an independent company, because the first title that we launch is the ending of this conclusion,” Elverdam said.
Their next project will be Project 007. Featuring Bond. James Bond.