Companies Wanted to Buy IO Interactive For Just One Dollar
It was recently revealed in an interview published in Edge Magazine that Hitman’s developer, IO Interactive, went through a dire stretch that almost saw the company sold for a single dollar. This was touched upon during an interview with Hakan Abrak, the CEO of IO Interactive, who explained that, when the studio ‘disappointed’ parent company Square Enix, the Japanese firm kicked off DEFCON 1, trying to desperate hand off the ownership of the studio.
I’ll Buy That For a Dollar!
In the interview published in Edge (and shared by PCGamer), Abrak stated that he was barely three months into his role as CEO at IO Interactive when the President of Square Enix informed him of the intent to divest IO. Reportedly, IO Interactive hadn’t ‘made any money’ for around a decade, and in a bid to ship the studio off its books, Square Enix was entertaining offers of just a single dollar.
It was also stressed that the company could have been dramatically downsized and pushing forward with a free-to-play model for the legendary stealth-action franchise.
By the end of the debacle, IO Interactive decided to just buy itself out – but not for $1.
Some companies would offer $1 to take over IO, because of the responsibilities and running costs (…) We couldn’t pay anywhere near what, potentially, a big company could. We paid what we could, and we came up with a deal where [Square Enix] kept a minority part, kind of a lottery ticket for them.
Following a round of layoffs and some issues gaining traction, IO Interactive managed to get back on its feet, turning things around universally for both the firm and the Hitman franchise. It was touch and go for a minute, there.