Square Enix Narrowing Its Focus – Hitman Developer IO Interactive Up for Sale
Square Enix has announced that it will be putting their Hitman developing studio IO Interactive up for sale. The announcement comes in the form of a statement that the Japanese publisher has released to their investors, wherein the company reveals an “extraordinary” $42 million loss for their financial fiscal year which ended March 31, 2017. According to the statement, the monetary loss is a direct result of Square Enix’s commitment to narrowing its focus on key franchises and studios.
“To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios,” the publisher explains. “As a result, the company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of [IO Interactive], a wholly-owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.”
This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.”
The statement implies that the $42 million loss stems from both the sudden offloading of IO Interactive and the halt order on the Danish developer’s ongoing projects (AKA the “intangible assets”), which likely includes more content for Hitman. Square Enix goes on to state that they have entered into discussions with potential new investors and is “currently in negotiations to secure this investment.” The statement provides a glimmer of hope for the folks over at IO Interactive as it shows that Square Enix is at least trying to sell the developing studio off as a whole rather than simply shuttering the studio and selling off its intellectual properties piecemeal.
“Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.”
As the above statement suggests, there is still the very real possibility that they will be unable to find a new home for IO Interactive. If this happens, it would most likely spell the end for the Danish studio’s run. That said, since Square Enix announced the sell-off at the end of their fiscal year, it is possible that IO Interactive may be the only victim of the Japanese publisher’s decision to narrow its focus. It is entirely up to Square Enix to decide how narrow of a focus the company needs and it will, in part, depend on the roller coaster-like success of the Final Fantasy franchise to help determine how much wiggle room Square Enix can allow for their other franchises and developing studios.
So, thoughts on the sell-off of IO Interactive? Are you a fan of the Hitman games? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, stay tuned to DFTG for all the latest gaming and entertainment news! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for our 24/7 news feed!
Ryan "Cinna" Carrier2650 Posts
Ryan is the Lead Editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.