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.

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

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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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