The key here is to be able to tell a Big Company that you just want help Distributing and Marketing the game. You want THEM to spend on that and take a cut from the game "without having to worry about how the games are made". You then solve the problem of operating budget yourself.
Also, you could do this "title by title" - You sign contracts with a publisher just for one specific title so the rights they have are limited to that title (and maybe sequels to that title if the Publisher is "in love" with it). But no rights on you or other projects by you.
It's a lot more work than living comfortably in the confines of a powerful conglomerate where you can sit in your corner office just thinking about how to make great games. But overall I think it could be better this way for IOI.
This is, btw, still an option for SE. They could divest from IOI ("IOI has to figure out main operating costs itself"), but in exchange they just have a deal specifically to keep HITMAN at SE - and IOI will continue to make Seasons/Sequels for HITMAN and SE will keep publishing it and marketing it for a cut - while IOI is now free to work on its own projects, find budget at its own level, and seek its own publisher for Non-HITMAN projects ("SE relinquishing rights to future IOI work that is not related to HITMAN").