IO Interactive are now a fully independent studio, announcing today that they have left Square Enix by way of a management buyout. As part of that deal, IO will keep all rights to the Hitman IP.

That means the future of the series is entirely within the control of IO Interactive. In their statement, they add “We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.”

They go on to thank everybody who has sent them messages of support since the announcement a few weeks ago that Square Enix would be putting the studio up for sale. IO also thank Square themselves, saying they are “proud of what we have achieved together in the last eight years.”

What exactly comes next for Hitman (Season Two, specifically) is not yet fully clear, but the IO statement says they intend to encourage more people to try the game. Sounds like there could be a free Steam weekend or similar such promotion on the way. Update: IO have confirmed that all Season One revenue at this point will go to the studio.

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