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IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects

Develop has a statement from IO Interactive saying that the developer is in pre-production on a new triple-A Hitman game, which is their sole focus after they have laid off almost half their staff and cancelled other studio projects, saying this "difficult decision" was made to help "face the challenges of today's market." Here's the bad news:

We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market.

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.

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.

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. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers.

Meanwhile, if you are part of a company that is looking for additional development talent, please contact us directly at info@ioi.dk.

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18. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 18, 2013, 02:52 Tanto Edge
 
I guess this is what happens when you're hired by a company who doesn't understand your games, to make a game that you don't understand out of the game that they don't understand.

Hmm, what's that everyone? They make good games?

Yeah... that was before Hitman from Squeenix, wasn't it?
 
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17. So many layoffs these days. Jun 18, 2013, 02:50 Ant
 
IBM, Symantec, game companies, etc.  
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16. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 18, 2013, 00:57 walrus1
 
Sepharo wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 21:50:
walrus1 wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 17:32:
I played Blood Money when it first came out and loved loved loved it. I didn't play 1 or 2 when they first got released. But went back and played Contracts (2) after playing Blood Money. I didn't think it aged very well at all.

Contracts is not Hitman 2. Personally I find Contracts to be the worst one (haven't played Absolution yet) but I've had this conversation here before and recognize I may just not have played far enough.
I'm sorry I meant Silent Assassin and not Contracts.
 
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15. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 18, 2013, 00:07 Sepharo
 
Jerykk wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 23:35:
Wha? How can anyone consider Contracts be the worst Hitman game?

Like I said, I've had this conversation before (with you) and we determined that I probably just didn't play long enough
 
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14. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 23:35 Jerykk
 
Wha? How can anyone consider Contracts be the worst Hitman game? It took the best levels from the first game, added some great new ones (Meat King ftw) and further refined the already significant improvements made in the second game. It also placed the focus on assassination, rather than the tangents you often had to go through in the first two games (running through the jungle looking for artifacts, trying to sneak past towers manned by ninja snipers, etc).

With the exception of Absolution, the Hitman series is the only one to improve with each iteration.

Anyway, I can't say I'm too disappointed with the focus on Hitman. Kane & Lynch was only mediocre at best. Same with Mini Ninjas. Freedom Fighters was great but it's never going to get a sequel. Now that the focus is solely on Hitman, hopefully they can take another look at Blood Money and figure out why everyone loved it so much.
 
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13. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 21:50 Sepharo
 
walrus1 wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 17:32:
I played Blood Money when it first came out and loved loved loved it. I didn't play 1 or 2 when they first got released. But went back and played Contracts (2) after playing Blood Money. I didn't think it aged very well at all.

Contracts is not Hitman 2. Personally I find Contracts to be the worst one (haven't played Absolution yet) but I've had this conversation here before and recognize I may just not have played far enough.
 
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12. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 21:10 Closed Betas
 
changing market? is that code for, Customers won't buy shit console ports anymore?
 
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11. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 19:53 Prez
 
HoSpanky wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 16:46:
Absolution can't have sold well, the game dropped to ~$20 in what seemed like a few weeks. I haven't played any of the hitman games so I can't comment on their quality. Obviously people liked them or they wouldn't have made what..4 or 5 games and a derpy movie.

I got it for 5 bucks on Amazon 2 weeks ago. Hitman Blood Money was a fantastic game, but it dropped in price pretty quickly too as I recall.
 
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10. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 19:45 Slashman
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 19:30:
It sold almost 4M copies but the idiots at Square Enix expected it to sell something like 6M. These are the same executives who called Tomb Raider a failure despite it selling more than any previous iteration in franchise history ever did.

How does someone even come up with projections like that? I mean...what would lead you to believe that your game would sell more than its prequels ever have by that order of magnitude?
 
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9. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 19:30 Parallax Abstraction
 
HoSpanky wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 16:46:
Absolution can't have sold well, the game dropped to ~$20 in what seemed like a few weeks. I haven't played any of the hitman games so I can't comment on their quality. Obviously people liked them or they wouldn't have made what..4 or 5 games and a derpy movie.

It sold almost 4M copies but the idiots at Square Enix expected it to sell something like 6M. These are the same executives who called Tomb Raider a failure despite it selling more than any previous iteration in franchise history ever did.
 
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8. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 18:34 El Pit
 
Dead in 5... 4... 3...  
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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7. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 18:21 Rattlehead
 
/sigh there goes any hope of a new freedom fighters ever being remotely considered. Ah well, Absolution was pretty cool, even at a cool $5 which I scored it at.  
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6. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 17:32 walrus1
 
HoSpanky wrote on Jun 17, 2013, 16:46:
Absolution can't have sold well, the game dropped to ~$20 in what seemed like a few weeks. I haven't played any of the hitman games so I can't comment on their quality. Obviously people liked them or they wouldn't have made what..4 or 5 games and a derpy movie.
I played Blood Money when it first came out and loved loved loved it. I didn't play 1 or 2 when they first got released. But went back and played Silent Assassins (2) after playing Blood Money. I didn't think it aged very well at all. Blood Money is till one of my favorite PC games. Do your self a favor and pick it up on Amazon for about $5. Just make sure you get the disc version since the download one can be a bit wonky on modern rigs. Absolution was an extremely mediocre cover based stealth game. One of these days I want to play through Contracts.

The route the industry is going continues to depress and alarm me. IT seems people are becoming more and more disposable all the time.

This comment was edited on Jun 18, 2013, 00:58.
 
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5. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 16:57 NKD
 
Hope everyone finds work soon. Glad to hear they aren't giving up on Hitman. I find Absolution to be pretty mediocre. I hope the next one is a bit better.  
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4. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 16:46 HoSpanky
 
Absolution can't have sold well, the game dropped to ~$20 in what seemed like a few weeks. I haven't played any of the hitman games so I can't comment on their quality. Obviously people liked them or they wouldn't have made what..4 or 5 games and a derpy movie.  
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3. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 16:27 Prez
 
I am not sure about Mini Ninjas, but as for those that I've played IO's Hitman Blood Money was probably their last really good game. The Kane and Lynch games weren't bad, just average. Absolution seems to be a pretty divisive game from a review standpoint - some liked itnand others loathed it. Another game like Blood Money is what they need.  
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2. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 16:20 Cutter
 
So what's next after Derpsolution? And most everyone in the game biz should porbably resign themselves to the fact that it's basically a contract industry.
 
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1. Re: IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects Jun 17, 2013, 16:16 Pr()ZaC
 
"We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market."

So they'll focus on games for iOS and Android.
 
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