IO Interactive are now free agents in the development space. The Danish studio is no longer housed under the Square Enix publishing label. The company sent out a note to investors informing them of the severed ties to IO Interactive.
“To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly ‐ owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017.”
Quite naturally a lot of gamers took to social media to ask exactly what this means for the second season of the episodic Hitman series?
IO Interactive ended the first season on a cliffhanger.
Obviously the total cumulative sales of the episodic approach just didn’t quite work out as well as they may have hoped. Sales wise, the game’s various episodes managed to rack up a total of 630,000 owners over on Steam, according to Steam Spy.
Of course, this doesn’t really speak at all to the sales volume spread across the Xbox One and PS4, and how much of that contributed to the bottom line. Consoles usually double the software sales of PC. So if they were similar to PC on the digital front but had additional sales from the physical releases, then the game could have roughly did just under 3 million in total. If they were a lot more than PC, then it could have done just over 3 million.
Either way, the total results was not something that pleased Square Enix at all, and they decided to dump IO Interactive. This isn’t too dissimilar to what happened with Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of Tomb Raider under the Eidos label, where Game Rant reported that the game did over 3.8 million the first month out and it was considered “disappointing”, according to Square Enix.
The days of the AAA titles dominating the market seem to be coming to an end, and old studios definitely seem to be in a situation where they may need to focus more engaging content that lures a lot of gamers as opposed to relying solely on brand recognition and the clout of a budget to stay competitive in today’s industry.
(Main image courtesy of Dr.DesperaDoS)