Despite splitting with developer IO Interactive, according to an English transcript of the company's recent end-of-year results call hints that Square Enix is looking to continue the Hitman franchise.
This one comes to us via GameSpot and seems to completely counteract what we knew of the Hitman rights in the aftermath of Square's decision to part was with IO. GameStar previously reported that the rights to the Hitman IP would belong to IO Interactive and not stay with Square Enix. That report indicated that Season Two of IO's Hitman was already in development and would be ready for release just before 2018. And as GameStar is usually reliable about these things, we all took that as the last word, which was a positive for the dev studio.
But now, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has gone on to address the franchise's potential future, saying:
"Because the firm is engaged in the development of Hitman and other renowned titles, we are negotiating with prospective external investors capable of ensuring that these titles carry on."
It's also worth noting that IO Interactive is the studio behind the Kane & Lynch series, so it's possible Matsuda's mention of "other renowned titles" is in reference to that franchise, as well as any other projects the studio may have been developing for the publisher.
IO Interactive shared an update shortly after its split with Square Enix, during which they announced layoffs and said the change "will allow us to be better equipped for our future endeavors."
You can read the transcript of that investor call here.