After plenty of rumour and speculation, developer IO Interactive has set the record straight about its future in an update from IO CEO Hakan Abrak.

'Our passion and determination has never been greater and so that is why we have decided it is not the time to stop as we have many more exciting and original tales to tell,' Abrak said in the company update. 'Therefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP. '

Abrak explained that with IOI now fully independent, they have complete control over the future of the studio, as well as the Hitman IP. He added 'We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.'

He thanked the studio's former owners Square Enix for the last eight years, as well as fans that have shown their support over the last number of weeks.

'We are counting on the continued support of all our players; simply by having fun with everything we’ve released so far for HITMAN,' Abrak added before concluding, 'and we want to encourage more of you to try our game. We have more details to come on our plans for that next week.'

One of the main worries the Hitman community had since Square Enix dropped the studio was whether or not Agent 47 was dead, and by the sounds of things, you'll be seeing more of that bald assassin for some time yet.

So what could next week's news be? A Hitman season 2, perhaps? 

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