Hitman developer IO Interactive will lose almost half its staff and all projects aside from a new game in the assassination series, Square Enix Europe announced today. The publisher laid off employees to "align [its] business against a changing and challenging market," GamesIndustry International reports.
"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."
Most recent title Hitman: Absolution did not meet Square Enix's sales expectations, but it seems the publisher and developer will double down on the future of the 13-year-old franchise.
Square Enix says it will attempt to relocate staff to other open positions within the company where it is able, and former production director Hannes Seifert will take over as IO's new studio head.