Hitman dev cuts staff, cancels projects

IO Interactive lays off half of entire staff and ceases production on multiple projects as it focuses on development of new AAA Hitman game.

Hitman: Absolution studio IO Interactive has cut half its staff and canceled multiple projects as it makes "significant changes" to its business strategy.

A Square Enix representative confirmed the cuts with Games Industry International and then with GameSpot, saying the studio--under the direction of new boss Hannes Seifert--will refocus "resolutely" on a new AAA Hitman game going forward.

"We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market," the Square Enix representative said in a statement.

"The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project," the statement goes on. "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."

Square Enix said it is "extremely grateful" for the affected developers' hard work and, where possible and appropriate, will try to relocate staff to open internal and external positions.

IO Interactive is based in Denmark. The studio's most recent game was last year's Hitman: Absolution. The company also created the Kane & Lynch franchise.

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Discussion

175 comments
electronic_eye
electronic_eye

As long as they eventually release the next Kane & Lynch game. Love the series and that ending to Dog Days is such a tease.

obriam
obriam

Fuke Hitman, fuke IO, fuke it to hell!  Devs need to learn how to make games again! I'm tired of these games that dont have anything new! Only stages of repetitive endless shit! Hope this industry crash again for these guys start doing something new! Today is all about, graphics,  particles, lens flare! WTF? What about AI? New mechanics? 

meatz666
meatz666

Companies are plain stupid. Stop firing devs, and stop wasting money in marketing.

If the game is good, nobody need TV ad to convince you to buy it.

OldSchoolPlaya
OldSchoolPlaya

Ridiculous. The best game IO ever made was "Freedom Fighters", and now it looks like they will NEVER make a sequel. Thanks, Square Enix. I hope your company goes under so bad.

neverstop
neverstop

I think this is the sign that the Hitman series is done. Square is trying to chase mainstream appeal and they've lost what made the early games special.

ps2fatboy
ps2fatboy

bet the next hitman game will have multiplayer, due to the sales of the sales of the previous game.

madglee
madglee

Absolution was horrible and not a real Hitman game. What's AAA supposed to mean?

SpookyHoobster
SpookyHoobster

SquareEnix is going to flop. They need to slow down with the whole AAA franchises like this and improve their marketing which is piss poor. They need to figure our how to make a brand name and market it towards more mainstream US audiences.

MrS8tan
MrS8tan

I want a kane and lynch made by these people

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

Oh and since this entire thread has become a giant pissing war as to which Hitman game is the best, let me cast my vote by saying, having played every game in the series, I LOVED Absolution. If you guys want to sit around and bitch that Absolution wasn't like Blood Money, just go play Blood Money! 

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

Stupid. So every game that's released isn't a "success" unless it sells like a COD game. Now all the really cool niche games like Kane & Lynch get gutted. I really despise the video game industry for shit like this. Way to put the "business" in art. Horrible.

angeloti83
angeloti83

I didn´t like absolution, it was an absolutely boring game.

max-hit
max-hit

"Doorman Absolution" destroyed all the good things I used to remember about Hitman. Please don't ever make another game.

vivalatour
vivalatour

the company consists of several games for variety , so why don't they keep their people and continue making several of their "good" games for money ?

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

A new Gaming Crash is now looking closer than ever?

EA will save the day though! heh heh he he he ha ha ha... ha...ha...h... h... ... ... Oh Dear!

>_<

joesguy
joesguy

Because layoffs make an industry stronger. ;P

JohnTheGrudge
JohnTheGrudge

Hitman Absolution is a great game.  I don't know what games everybody else has been playing to have such high standards but from what I've seen Absolution was one of the year's better games.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

they are probably working on another kane and laynch midcore piece of shit.

RoachRush
RoachRush

"AAA gaming" my ass. If you rounded up the actual score for gameplay, content and replayability, it wouldn't even count as 'B-gaming.'

tionmedon
tionmedon

sorry to see that talent go...............

ewjiml
ewjiml

Hitman sold 3.8 millions copies.  And Square Enix considers that a failure and lays off half of the staffing? 

robybaggio
robybaggio

Without DRM this will continue to happen. Well done Sony - a blight on gaming.

Drunk_Loser
Drunk_Loser

IO has been complete garbage these past couple of years. I am heavily anticipating a new Hitman game, a good Hitman game, but I have a feeling they'll f*ck it up somehow. It's as if IO is bored with the series. Hitman is still very much fresh for a lot of people who didn't play the earlier titles. But I can imagine for the developer after so many years. There has never been a true Hitman game in HD. If they could combine Blood Money's gameplay and Absolution's visuals they would have money. But after Kane & Lynch 1 and 2 and Absolution, I'm worried that this current team has no idea what they're doing, like they couldn't deliver good gameplay to save their life. They got the story and cinematic aspect down right, but all of their current gen games are loaded with bugs and poorly thought gameplay. Absolution had stunning visuals, the gamma was nice, but 47 couldn't even jump over obstacles without first getting behind them as cover. They took everything that made Hitman great and dumped it out the window. I hope they get their heads out of their asses and deliver this time around. Bring back stealth, exquisite locations and lots and lots of contracts with refined gameplay and next gen graphics and you will sell millions. How much easier can this be?

proceeder
proceeder

Well, I'm glad! A Hitman title made by Square is bad news enough, let alone not having it feature #47.

Pfff, can U believe that?!

It's like Metal Gear featuring a ladylike character with a katana instead of Snake!

In what crazy world would that happen?!

videogamer008
videogamer008

i respect your opinion buddy but as for me i have all the hitman games including Absolution and to me, it REALLY is an amazing, heart pumping, and a fabulous game.... but i do, i REALLY do respect others...

cuddlyfuzzle
cuddlyfuzzle

@madglee huge budget and gameplay catered to retards and players of no skill. 

Drunk_Loser
Drunk_Loser

@rob_dAmAgE Absolution wasn't a terribly bad game. It just wasn't what people were waiting for after so many years. The game was mostly about evasion. The feature where enemies could recognize you if your in the same uniform pretty much wrecked a lot of the levels. And it was loaded with bugs. I liked some of the new gameplay features like the freeze aim, the refined aiming controls and the auto-drag after you choked someone out with the fiberwire, those were much needed enhancements. But I was expecting a Hitman game. That was whack!

heat_masheet
heat_masheet

@angeloti83 same here. I just didn't have any interest in finishing it.

 Absolution< Blood money.

roman4545
roman4545

@max-hit  

Ill say let them make anothe oner.. meanwhile YOU dont play them !

apolloooo
apolloooo

@JohnTheGrudge agreed. hitman absolution is the second best in the series. blood money is the best

Navardo95
Navardo95

@JohnTheGrudge I too feel that Absolution is a great game and I've played all the other Hitman games and love it but granted Absolution is not the best Hitman game and it has numerous flaws its still one of my fav games of 2012....

mathg04
mathg04

@ewjiml No, it's the other way arround. They saw that they can milk that franchise and canceled all other project to concentrate on the milking process...

Lacarus
Lacarus

@robybaggio Yeah, sure. DRM is what will save the gaming industry. Riiiiight.

Drunk_Loser
Drunk_Loser

I'm gonna go ahead and add to this, IO or SE should really outsource this franchise to somebody who knows what video game making is all about. I heard the original Hitman team wasn't even there for Absolution. Everything IO has released in the last few years has been hot garbage. They really need to outsource this game to another developer, or it's lights out for Hitman.

HiSaZuL
HiSaZuL

@proceeder Capcom made Devil May Cry without Dante... So yeah.. It's possible.

Kickable
Kickable

@cuddlyfuzzle @madglee funny one complaint i heard the most about Absolution from long time fans was that it was now too hard because disguises don't make you entirely immune to bad guys.  Wish they'd done that from the start.

rob_dAmAgE
rob_dAmAgE

@Drunk_Loser @rob_dAmAgE Fair enough, but this article isn't about that. This article is about a developer getting shafted because it's not pooping out AAA titles. It a sad state of affairs for the video game industry as a whole when things like this happen.


angeloti83
angeloti83

@heat_masheet @angeloti83 me neither! i got to the last mission and i was like "meeehhh no way i keep playing this g....game." then i switched to fallout 3 DLCs which certainly kick ass!

Warfighter_971
Warfighter_971

@Navardo95 Agreed bro...The series will never have again a game like the 2nd one,SILENT ASSASSINS...

roman4545
roman4545

ohh you think you deserve a triple A written comment to you ? ha, please instead waiting for a comment go play games you fool !


dont like the game then dont play it, dont like how the game is then dont play it... isnt that simple and fun ? But no instead you are bitching about it.. man save that for your dog and your mom. Until then either you sit down, shut up and enjoy gaming or piss off and quit gaming !  Capiche ?