Io Interactive lays off 'almost half' its staff, focusing on Hitman (update)

Io Interactive, best known for games like Hitman: Absolution, has laid off almost half its staff.

The Danish-based Square Enix subsidiary issued a statement to Develop saying that the company had canceled all projects unrelated to its Hitman franchise.

"We have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at Io and reduce the workforce in this studio," the statement read, "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 statement added that, "Hannes Seifert, formerly Production Director for three years at the studio, will take over the position of Studio Head." It is unclear which senior staff have been released. Polygon has contacted Square Enix for clarification.

"The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise," continued the statement, adding that the company "is in pre-production on a new triple-A Hitman project."

Io's last game was Hitman: Absolution, the latest in a series of assassination-stealth games stretching back to 2000. Other franchises include Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas.

Update: Square Enix released a full statement to Polygon, but did not address specific questions on who was laid off at Io Interactive. The statement is as follows..

"We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market. Hannes Seifert, formerly Production Director for 3 years at the studio, will take over the position of Studio Head at IO. 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.

For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it's possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers.

Meanwhile, if you are part of a company that is looking for additional development talent, please contact us directly at info@ioi.dk"

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