IO Interactive lost the right to make Kane & Lynch sequels when they were dropped by publisher Square Enix earlier this year. The state of many of IO’s franchises were in a pretty grey area for a while, with the rights to Hitman being the most talked about with sources on both sides saying they retained the rights. But today we found out that we won’t be getting any new Kane & Lynch games from IO. There is some good news in there however as IO retained the rights to a few of their large franchises after the split with SE.
The news was revealed in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, where IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak discussed the shift to independent development after a management buyout saved them from souring negotiations with Square Enix.
Abrak noted that IO “lost Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas in the divorce,” but that the developer has managed to acquire control of the rights to the Hitman franchise, as well as Freedom Fighters.
Kane & Lynch is third-person shooter franchise developed by IO interactive. The two games in the series had players controlling two bank-robbing mercenaries caught up in criminal organizations that spanned the globe. The second game was released in 2010, to middling reviews. Kane & Lynch 2 currently has a 63% rating from critics with a 5.2 from users on Metacritic with similar numbers on Steam. So not a bad loss for IO all around.
Abrak mentioned his appreciation for the fan support following IO Interactive’s struggle for independence, and promised they “will return the love through the games we make.”
The studio is currently focused on the Hitman franchise, with a new game officially in development. However, IO Interactive is not ruling out a new property in the future, as Abrak noted that “creating universes and characters is in our blood.”
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