There may be reason to rejoice for some fans of the "Hitman" game series. Reports of IO Interactive Studios being dropped by publisher Square Enix was in the news lately. This had cast a serious cloud over the future of the "Hitman" series. However, now it seems that Io has managed to eke out a deal with Square Enix to go completely independent and at the same time retain the rights of the 'Hitman' franchise.

In May, Square Enix had announced its decision of selling off Io Interactive to focus on key franchises and studios. However, fans were left distraught with this announcement as they were looking forward to the "Hitman" series to continue.

Io Interactive and Square Enix had jointly worked to create the entire first season of "Hitman"2016, which featured episodic release of new content throughout last year.

Fans were left to wonder which publisher would but Io Interactive and what it would mean for the return of Agent 47, the protagonist of the "Hitman" series. However, the news that IO Interactive was going independent as well as retaining the full rights of the "Hitman" IP will be a reason to rejoice for fans.

Game developer going independent with "Hitman" IP

Io Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak revealed that through a management buyout deal with Square Enix, the studio has managed to become completely independent of publishers and would now be freely able to pursue the next chapter of the 'Hitman' franchise.

He defined the moment as “watershed.”

Abrak said that he and his team would now pursue partnerships and alliances with other studios so that Io is able to produce good quality products in the future. The CEO also expressed his gratitude to the loyal fans, players, and community members for their support after Square Enix announced that it would drop Io Interactive.

He was also grateful to the former publishers and said that it was a great family to be a part of in the last eight years.

Abrak said that he would also have more details about the "Hitman" franchise and that the studio would keep supporting great content for Season 1 of the "Hitman" episodic series. For instance, in June two new Escalation Contracts and one Elusive Target would be introduced in the game.

History of Io Interactive’s work under Square Enix

Io started off as an independent developer but was bought out by Eidos in 2003. However, Eidos was itself acquired by Square Enix in 2009. Since then, the studio has launched four titles, namely Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, Mini Ninjas, "Hitman" Absolution, and the episodic "Hitman" of last year.