All non-Hitman projects cancelled amid Square Enix directed changes.
Much has been made of Square Enix's missed sales targets, specifically with the new 'Tomb Raider' and with 'Hitman: Absolution,' and now the hammer has clearly fallen on Hitman developer, IO Interactive.
Past projects for IO in addition to the Hitman franchise have included 'Freedom Fighters,' 'Mini Ninjas,' and the two 'Kane & Lynch' titles.
From Square Enix VP of corporate communications Chris Glover, "The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. 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."
The changes at the studio include promoting former production director Hannes Seifert to studio head, albeit of a much reduced studio.
Focusing on Square Enix's western efforts, it seems that the surprise success of 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution' has had a ripple effect for games like 'Tomb Raider,' 'Hitman: Abosolution,' and the still in-development 'Thief 4.' Meanwhile projects in Japan like the relaunching of the 'FFXIV' MMO, and the indefinitely developed 'FFXV/FFXII:Verus' and 'Kingdom Hearts 3' all pale in success to what Square Enix has managed with mobile re-releases and spin-offs like 'Thaetrhythm' and 'Deus Ex: The Fall.'
Hopefully, Square Enix can begin scoring hits in the AAA space before all of their properties are entirely focusing towards the mobile market.
Author: Brian Hoss