Hitman developer IO Interactive has announced that it's laying off "almost half" its staff to "focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise."
In a statement obtained by Eurogamer, Square Enix VP of corporate communications Chris Glover said, "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."
"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."
As part of IO Interactive's changes, its moved former production director Hannes Seifert up to studio head.
It's unclear what in-development projects were cancelled, but next to Hitman IO was best known for its Kane & Lynch series - of which a third game was heavily hinted at.