Hitman developer IO Interactive has now become an independent studio after a management buyout. The studio even owns the rights to the Hitman franchise now.

It was known for a while that Square Enix was interested in selling off developer IO Interactive, but a twist in the tale has emerged as the Danish studio has performed a management buyout. This makes them an independent studio, joining the ranks of indies worldwide. Not only has the studio secure its freedom, it has also secured the rights to the Hitman franchise. This means that for the first time in its history, IO Interactive will be able to develop Hitman games without any publisher involvement.

The franchise was originally published by Eidos Interactive, the venerable British publisher that was bought out by Square Enix in 2009. Since then, Square Enix has published Hitman: Absolution and the new Hitman. Square Enix also made a mobile push with the games Hitman Go and Hitman: Sniper (which were developed by Square Enix Montreal instead).

IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak described the newfound independence as “incredibly exciting”, although he did not so much as hint at what lies in the future for Agent 47. The newest Hitman game, released last year, is episodic and saw the release of six episodes that were packaged in a season bundle this year. IO Interactive’s plan calls for multiple seasons for the game, so Season 2, should it happen, might just be an indie release.

If you’re interested in grabbing the first season, it’s available on Steam (PC and Linux), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A Mac release is slated to release on the coming Tuesday. On the other hand, if you’ve never dabbled in any of Agent 47’s adventures, you might want to check out this bundle of games on Steam.

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