Game developer IO Interactive announced recently that it has cut half its staff in preparation for a new AAA Hitman game in the near future.
The Square Enix-owned studio is known for Hitman: Absolution and the Kane & Lynch franchise. Through a Square Enix release, the company announced “significant changes” to its business strategy.
“We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market,” a Square Enix representative said in a statement.
“The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project,” the statement goes on. “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.”
IOI has worked on other projects, but the Hitman series is its most prolific by far. Out of IOI’s nine titles, five are a part of the Hitman franchise.
Square Enix posted a net loss for the 2013 fiscal year, which was released at the end of March. The company finished 13,714 million yen in the red, as a result of “strategic initiatives” which were designed to pan out in the future.
But in the meantime, the company has had to deal with some crippling losses, which might explain why they’ve moved forward with cutting IOI in half
There have been other major cuts in the gaming industry recently, albeit at a much different scale. Online gaming giant Zynga cut 520 jobs (18 percent of its staff) in June.