Square Enix shuffles its cards
Square selling off Hitman’s developer and the IP with it
You may remember from my review of Hitman that I love the game and looked forward to seeing the business model continue in 2017. I consider to be one of the only examples of episodic content done right! That’s why I’ve been waiting for details about why and where the developer will be landing after Square Enix kicks it out the door. At least we now know they’re willing to sell the intellectual property along with the studio, so that IO Interactive can keep working on it:
However, details from Square Enix’s financial documents have now confirmed what was previously suspected: the publisher is ready to sell off its Hitman rights alongside IO so that the studio can continue its work on the franchise.
Unfortunately, even if IO Interactive and the Hitman property do end up being bought by a publisher, there’s a very real chance the buyer will want to milk the series dry and ruin the studio with its greed. When a publisher sells a studio instead of just shutting it down, the question is always about profitability, right? Scary times for Hitman fans.
Square takes on FFVII developement in-house
Remember the glorious announcement of the Final Fantasy VII Remake project? My immediate reaction was that the game would either never see completion, or take so long that it would become a cross-generational fiasco of overpriced “episodes” that hook fanboys into buying chunks of a game without knowing whether the whole thing will even be any good or not. I’m still pessimistic about the FFVII Remake, and this news hasn’t helped.
Previously, Square outsourced development of the game to “CyberConnect2”, the people who made the awful Asura’s Wrath game and the okay .hack series, as well as the Naruto games I’ve never tried (but assume are trash). That’s not the kind of company I’d trust with a FFVII remake, so it’s interesting that Square is openly citing “quality control” as the reason for shifting development back to their own company. I guess it was cheaper to hire somebody else at first, but now the time has come to make sure it doesn’t suck. That means expense of production will increase…
…So I wonder if selling IO Interactive is a way of trying to fund this more expensive phase of developing FFVII. Certainly they stand to gain a lot more revenue from selling episodic FFVII content than they would selling Hitman.