Hitman Dev IO Interactive Lays Off Staff Amid Uncertain Future

Hitman Dev IO Interactive Lays Off Staff Amid Uncertain Future

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Facing the prospect of being sold or shut down, Hitman developer IO Interactive has laid off some staff.

It's been just under two weeks since we learned that Square Enix was looking to sell off Hitman developer IO interactive. Today, the Danish developer is back in the news, and not in a good way, as it has laid off an unspecified number of people.

The company announced the layoffs in an official statement posted to its Twitter account, saying,

"Today at IOI, we had to make some changes to our studio, which will allow us to be better equipped for our future adventures.

"We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio. We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected.

"Thank you for your support and understanding."

While this is bad news for those affected, the statement does carry some hope, as the phrase, "better equipped for our future adventures," does seem to suggest that there's a plan in place. Perhaps a deal is in the works, and as part of that, the company needed to slim down.

Whatever the case, there's been no official word on what may or may not be transpiring behind the scenes. We'll have to wait and see if this is the prelude to a deal that saves the studio, but for now the future of Hitman is uncertain at best.

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Hope the people layed off can get picked up and find a new job without issue.

Wait. Didn't the last hitman release do fairly well?
I think this is the problem with AAA games. You either make ALLL THE MONEY or you're basically a lame duck.

MonsterCrit:
Wait. Didn't the last hitman release do fairly well?
I think this is the problem with AAA games. You either make ALLL THE MONEY or you're basically a lame duck.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.950180-Square-Enix-is-Looking-to-Sell-Off-Hitman-Developer-IO-Interactive

Most blame Square Enix. I do too. I have no doubt they pushed the segmented release of Hitman, which caused me to not buy a game I had been super excited for.

On the one hand, Squenix strikes yet again. It never ceases to impress me how unrealistic Suare Enix are in both their expectations of sales and their optimism in the practices they think they can get away with towards consumers. IO are as much a victim of Squenix' constant price gouging as Eidos Montreal, just like Deus Ex Hitman was doomed from the get go with it's cut up structure and full price. Also just like Deus Ex the game was damaged by the cramming in of online 'features' and XP tracking that has no place in a single player title, although not nearly to the extent of Mankind Divided.

On the other hand, up until last year IO interactive's output had been pretty mediocre for a decade. They haven't delivered a game I would consider essential since Freedom Fighters in 2003 and Hitman 2 the year before. The other Hitman games have been fine, but not fantastic and there have been some seriously bad games too (Hello Kane and Lynch, goodbye Kane, goodbye Lynch).

I certainly wasn't interested in the new Hitman on the strength of IO's recent output, so they aren't blameless in their current situation either.

Although what Squenix were thinking with 'episodic' games I'll never know. With the games market so ruthlessly competitive you cannot release a game that won't be finished for a year and try to promise the rest will be good, probably, when it arrives. By the time you have a finished product the world will have moved on, as they've discovered.

Veldie:
Hope the people layed off can get picked up and find a new job without issue.

They will likely be shifted into soulless tech support.

fix-the-spade:

Although what Squenix were thinking with 'episodic' games I'll never know. With the games market so ruthlessly competitive you cannot release a game that won't be finished for a year and try to promise the rest will be good, probably, when it arrives. By the time you have a finished product the world will have moved on, as they've discovered.

Honestly it's just them having not learned their lesson from FF13. I don't know why they have such a boner from cutting up everything they can into multiple parts and trying to sell each part at full price, but it's not working well. Not at all.

fix-the-spade:

On the other hand, up until last year IO interactive's output had been pretty mediocre for a decade. They haven't delivered a game I would consider essential since Freedom Fighters in 2003 and Hitman 2 the year before. The other Hitman games have been fine, but not fantastic and there have been some seriously bad games too (Hello Kane and Lynch, goodbye Kane, goodbye Lynch).

What about 2006?

Saelune:

MonsterCrit:
Wait. Didn't the last hitman release do fairly well?
I think this is the problem with AAA games. You either make ALLL THE MONEY or you're basically a lame duck.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.950180-Square-Enix-is-Looking-to-Sell-Off-Hitman-Developer-IO-Interactive

Most blame Square Enix. I do too. I have no doubt they pushed the segmented release of Hitman, which caused me to not buy a game I had been super excited for.

Episodic release isn't a bad thing. Worked for Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukeme, and Tell-Tale games. I think this was the same mentality that shoe-horned microtrans into Deus Ex MD

MonsterCrit:

Saelune:

MonsterCrit:
Wait. Didn't the last hitman release do fairly well?
I think this is the problem with AAA games. You either make ALLL THE MONEY or you're basically a lame duck.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.950180-Square-Enix-is-Looking-to-Sell-Off-Hitman-Developer-IO-Interactive

Most blame Square Enix. I do too. I have no doubt they pushed the segmented release of Hitman, which caused me to not buy a game I had been super excited for.

Episodic release isn't a bad thing. Worked for Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukeme, and Tell-Tale games. I think this was the same mentality that shoe-horned microtrans into Deus Ex MD

Except its not 1990's anymore, and honestly, I liked buying the games full. And they were not as elaborate as modern games, so having them in pieces isnt as jarring.

And the Tell-Tale games are like a TV show. A game like Hitman that is meant to actually be a game, its not so great. Going to probably be worse for FF7.

MonsterCrit:
Episodic release isn't a bad thing. Worked for Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukeme, and Tell-Tale games. I think this was the same mentality that shoe-horned microtrans into Deus Ex MD

Problem is with Doom, Wolfenstein and Duke Nuken that first segment was free. You more or less go a third of Doom on the front of a magazine, which was a hell of a deal.

I thin if Squenix had taken the risk and made part 1 free they would have got more sales. I dread to think how many parts Final Fantasy 7 is going to be cut into, my prediction is four by the time release day rolls along.

gyrobot:

Veldie:
Hope the people layed off can get picked up and find a new job without issue.

They will likely be shifted into soulless tech support.

Nah... I don't want to diminish their tragedy, but I believe they will land on their feet.

Believe it or not, the gaming industry is not one of the most well paid, more stable, more concerned with human resources or capital flight of the branches of IT development. If they are willing to leave this slaughterhouse of an industry behind, they run the risk of getting into less creative IT works, but given the need for IT specialists in Denmark, I doubt they will remain unemployed for long.

Of course, this is mostly on SE. They are the ones that took a studio that recently produced one of the most successful entries in their franchise history and scrap it for parts to keep financing development sinkholes like FF and KH.

 

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