Square-Enix drops IO Interactive


#865

Exactly. It would be much more encouraging if there were multiple independent sources telling the same thing, but so far it is just several outlets relaying the same source.


#866

All in the name of “Come give my website some traffic.”


#867

#868


#869

I like to believe 47 killed them in Absolution.


#870

MRW I read this:


#871

i love multiplayer hitman… it can work.
but no player will be 47, players will be generic hitman in a mission.
i imagine it will be like fragile alliance in K & L multiplayer.

HITMAN MULTIPLAYER : HUNTER AND HUNTED SCENARIO
2 to 8 players, 1 randomly selected to be the targets, the other will be hitmen.
Each player choose an NPC to be their “avatar”, for example, if you select “Rocco” in Sapienza, then you will start at Rocco’s apartment balcony.
Each player doesn’t know what the other players “avatar” are, but the hitman players will get a photo of the target and will compete to search and execute the target before the other. Killing other hitmen gave a bonus money. Once the target killed, the session ends.
The player chosen as target can play hide and seek OR get a weapon and kill the hitmen.


#872

Looks like no news today.

Hopefully details will emerge soon. But we could be waiting weeks or months to find out the fate of the franchise.

sigh…


#873

I wouldn’t expect any news until June.


#874

Can we come up with a motivation for the target to do something other than huddle in a corner grasping a shotgun or run around in panic? I would assume a lot of people would just do one of those things. Or just use their turn to be AFK to have drink or go to the toilet (both kind of ironic actually), or even just be as easy a target as possible to get back to murdering again.


#875

Information we can glean from multiple sources, about the source, and IOI’s behaviour/press/media/job listing:

  • IOI are probably maintaining the IP to Hitman;
  • IOI are probably maintaining are IP to Glacier2.

Based on all of the public information it seems like IOI isn’t dependent on a “buyer”, but rather investment. The SE statement in itself isn’t particularly clear on this, but IOI’s “business as usual” means we should be anticipating IOI continuing in the short term, and perhaps the long.

What supports this is:

  • IOI’s only statement to date indicates business carries on;
  • IOI is looking to add multiplayer to G2 (which is actually not small work, unless we’re talking non-realtime (e.g. remotely challenging a friend and just verifying actions using command-style interaction) – not that that’s small, it just isn’t huge); they were doing this before the news, but they haven’t taken it down, so we can be hopeful;
  • IOI is hyped about the awards, but not so hyped as to give things away about being picked up by someone (e.g. no public confirmation it’s THQNordic or anything else); their behaviour is more “carrying on what we’re doing” rather than “while the lights on party”;
  • Multiple news outlets are dropping vague attributions to the source (we know it’s a developer, we know it’s reliable, we know it’s close to the source): the categories which fit that are narrow. Unless someone is feeling malicious within that group there’s no reason to think there’s an issue, and malicious rumour would be near the opposite. We know the source isn’t just being picked up from one or two places, as we’re picking up tiny amounts of additional information from every few sites posting it (they aren’t just raw repetitions); the source (or sources?) appear to have spoken to a few people.

As a general point: If/when public information about potential investors, distributors, publishers, and the like is available, I would imagine the press will jump on it. In terms of gaming news IOI’s situation is big enough that it syndicated rapidly when it first broke, so expect anything to reach you pretty quickly. If we’re all looking here and/or reddit, and not to actual news sources, we won’t get news.

At this point we can calm down, right?

I know for many of us this doesn’t change how we’re going to feel about SE. There are many factors behind my own feelings, and this last year already had my disappointed in them, and not wanting to buy their products. Preordering Season 2 of Hitman was off the cards for me because SE was involved; without SE’s involvement it isn’t – I’d like to see the season continue. When it comes to SE’s other IP I will vote with my wallet: if it’s a good game I’ll get it eventually at a lower price (time coupled with everything else); when it comes to Hitman I’ll do the same, and support the franchise, as despite my reservations and disappointments I recognise on the context the appropriate course of action is to weigh the benefit of the doubt in favour of IOI, who have clearly fought for it (where my preorder button?).


I’d personally still prefer to hear the confirmation from @Travis_IOI or similar, even if that confirmation just refers to the next two elusives and that the lights are still on. Radio silence, as others have pointed out, isn’t helpful right now. If everything’s okay maybe post us a picture of a rubber ducky on Twitter?


#876

I agree. Is not time to be silent


#877

Yes please!! That would be perfect!!!


#878

Maybe everything isn’t ok. Even if IOI does keep hitman & glacier 2, it still doesn’t matter until they can get a new publisher. Without it, they may not be able to continue with season 2. They may not have the funds to do so. This is why I think they are staying silent. Not by choice probably.


#879

I think the tweet about 4 awards is a statement in itself. Taking the high road and letting the game speak for itself!!


#880

Ah that’s where they got me! I’m on windows 8 and I’m not upgrading it due to “Platform Control Rules” I am using for my CGI projects.

That’s OK. :slight_smile:


#881

Even without a publisher and distributor they can still add to Steam. My recollection (pre-360 days) is that in the event of a publisher change MS allows developers to continue to add content provided they own the IP; PSN I haven’t looked at since early PS3 days, but my recollection is the same applies.

Steam will be the easiest route, but the question will be if, without a publisher and distributor, they can secure simultaneous release on all three platforms. If they can’t that may be the cause of the silence. Consoles may be in for a shock due to how politics in that domain works.

However, assume they can get someone (THQNordic for example could just be a distributor), they still need time to setup transfer of distribution chains, and/or access to those chains. None of this would be instant, even if they’d gotten the route.


Something most people don’t seem to get is digital distribution doesn’t require IOI to have a publisher in the traditional sense, nor does it require a distributor. When they get to disk releases they will require something, but regardless they don’t have the issues we had even 5-6 years ago.

The other point to be made is there are three factors here: distributor (THQNordic distributes), publishers (THQNordic publishes too), and developers. IOI is a developer studio, EIDOS was their publisher, SE was the distributor. (EIDOS is/was owned by SE, so we can treat them as an imprint.) Logic suggests that losing SE means losing EIDOS, but that isn’t necessarily the case: this could just be a role redistribution where IOI is free but have to secure their own funding.

There are too many variables in the air to be sure, but why look at the darkest reason when there are plenty of good reasons for the silence? Granted, it isn’t helpful for/from our end, but they may be waiting for legal teams to get back to them to let them know what they can/should say.


#882

IOI absolutely needs a publisher if they want to have a actual budget to work with on Season 2.


#883

Actually in the “Season 2” thread… I thought of the possibility that Square Enix would want to sign off IOI into independence under a new Investor, but that in exchange it could then immediately go into a favored Developer agreement with the now-independent IOI for HITMAN and “securing first dibs on work for HITMAN sequels”.

That means SE no longer has to spend money on IOI itself, but it still gets to distribute and collect revenue from HITMAN, and still retains rights to HITMAN sequels while IOI becomes free to seek its own destiny in other areas and with the new investor but fans are assured that IOI will “continue to work on HITMAN”.

I don’t know how likely the above setup is. But that does sound close to a “win-win” for me (depending on who the new Investor is and if they agree to not owning HITMAN but at least having a “Business as Usual” arrangement with SE for HITMAN’s future).


#884

Or investors, or a kickstarter, etc., etc… Multiple routes at this point. Look at Pillars of Eternity and its ilk. It depends on how much money they need given that they have the engine and so on. I, for one, could live with the current bugs for more decent content, provided it meant they at least acknowledged the issues as existing and as being something to work on later.

The problem is the wording of the release doesn’t clarify the position enough. Investment could be share selling (so still ownership), but I agree: SE could still be the publisher/distributor. They might as well keep their finger on the pulse of the game, keep their name tied to it, and so on. That makes it a bit awkward for me because I genuinely do not like SE’s business practices (even if I can understand some of them), but I want to support Hitman as a franchise/series because the game style itself is unique enough that I prefer it over the alternatives (including Dishonoured, Death to Spies, and their ilk – exceptions maybe being games like Thief and Deus Ex).

SE and/or IOI really need to clarify that Season 2 is coming at this point, and if they’re short on investment either run a kickstarter-style preorder (Pillars and Pillars 2 did it successfully, so did Divinity?) to raise some capital, and see if it’s enough. They can set a high bar on it, but maybe they don’t want to for fear of it failing…