Hitman developer cuts half of staff, refocuses on series

IO Interactive lays off employees and cancels other development projects

Hitman: Absolution developer IO Interactive has announced cuts totaling nearly half of its current staff, as the studio refocuses on the Hitman series. A Square Enix Europe spokesperson told GamesIndustry International that all other projects in development at IO have been canceled to begin work on another Hitman title. Production director Hannes Seifert has also been named as the new studio head.

"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," said the spokesperson in a statement.

"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," the statement continued. "We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers. If you are part of a company that is looking for additional development talent, please contact us directly at"

GamesIndustry International hopes those affected by the layoffs find new employment soon.

If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on

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Latest comments (8)

Christopher Thigpen Lead Producer, Kiz Studios8 years ago
Binge and Purge, Binge and Purge, Binge and Purge.

This is the modern development studio model.
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Paul Smith Dev 8 years ago
I deeply feel that if they had just stuck with the original Hitman formula all of theses job losses could of been avoided.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Smith on 18th June 2013 12:57am

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Hugo Trepanier Senior Game Designer, Ludia8 years ago
@Paul Yeah but does a studio or its employees really want to keep churning out the same game year after year? I think some diversity is always welcome, both for the creators and the consumer.

Good luck to everyone affected and to the surviving employees as well (losing half your colleagues is never a fun thing either).
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Show all comments (8)
Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly8 years ago

Sure, if only people would stuck with the original Pong formula all these decades, there would be no job cuts in the industry.
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Well, I guess its all down to the higher ups...

But what Io had in mind sounded really exciting when it was rumoured they would try some new stuff. Wonder what it was, would be nice to see
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D8 years ago
"does a studio or its employees really want to keep churning out the same game year after year?"

EA and Ubisoft do okay from that policy....
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago
But do its employees enjoy that, Fran. I'm sure to some it's just more work, but to those in the creative driving seats, having myself spoken to many of them, that's not what I hear them saying. Creative people need to explore new things to create and new ways of creating them.
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Chris Madsen8 years ago
Yeah, the last Hitman was kinda dissapointing gameplay :(
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