Square Enix has laid off "almost half " of IO Interactive's employees as part of what it calls "significant changes" at the studio, according to Develop. In a statement passed on to MCV from Develop, a spokesperson for Hitman series developer IO Interactive said that the Denmark-based studio was moving towards focusing solely on the Hitman series and has cancelled a number of projects and other initiatives that were being worked on as a result.
The spokesperson for the company also said that employees affected by layoffs would be relocated within the company where possible. IO Interactive production director Hannes Seifert will take over the position of studio head.
"We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market," reads the statement. "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 triple-A Hitman project."
"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," the statement continued. "We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers."