IO Interactive

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Io-Interactive A/S
Subsidiary of Square Enix
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded September 1998
Headquarters Copenhagen, Denmark
Products Hitman (2000–)
Kane & Lynch (2007–2010)
Owner Square Enix Europe
Number of employees
200+ (2014)
Parent Square Enix

Io-Interactive A/S (commonly abbreviated to IOI, on releases covered as and commony referred to as IO Interactive) is a Danish development studio owned by Square Enix Europe, a subsidiary of Square Enix.[1] The company was founded in September 1998 by the Reto-Moto development group.[2][3] To date, their most popular franchise is the Hitman series. This team is also known for their references (also known as an Easter egg) to their own games, such as Agent 47 advertising designer clothes in Freedom Fighters[4] or Hitman: Absolution featuring Kane & Lynch.[5]


Io-Interactive was founded in September 1998 in Copenhagen, Denmark.[1] Initially an independent company, they developed their debut title, Hitman: Codename 47, released in 2000. The game was published through Eidos Interactive,[6] and, upon release, received generally positive critical reception, being praised for its wide range of weapons, the smart AI and the realism, while being criticized for its lackluster camera, length and not living up to expectations. The game currently has a score of 73/100 on review aggregate site Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

They followed this up in 2002 with Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, which received positive reviews. IGN said, "It's a phenomenal game in its own right, and one that's sure to have broad appeal, particularly among those gamers who like to put a little more thought into their carnage."[8] The game, on PC, currently holds a Metacritic average of 87/100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", and a GameRankings score of 84.88% on PC.[9][10] This game was again published by Eidos Interactive.[11]

They then followed this up with the 2003 video game Freedom Fighters, a tactical shooter, published through Electronic Arts.[12]Freedom Fighters received positive reviews across the board, as represented by their Metacritic scores, 81/100 for PS2,[13] 82/100 for Xbox,[14] 83/100 for GameCube[15] and 80/100 for PC.[16]

Shortly afterwards, they were purchased by Eidos Interactive, ending their six years of independence.[17] Around the same time, they released Hitman: Contracts, which was met with mixed reviews. The PS2 and Xbox versions of the game were generally positive, 80/100 for PS2[18] and 78/100 for Xbox[19] respectively on Metacritic, the PC version has a 74/100, indicating mixed or average reviews.[20]

Hitman: Blood Money followed in 2006 and marked the fourth game in the Hitman series. It became one of their most well-received games to date, and sold the most units out of any other entry to the series up to that point. This would be the last installment in the series for another six years, before the release of Hitman: Absolution in November 2012.

The developers took a six-year hiatus from the development of Hitman, their most popular franchise. Their next game was Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, which followed the ventures of criminals Kane and Lynch as they attempted to pull off a heist. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men wasn't popular upon release with critics, being criticized for its length and lack of originality.

The next venture by the developer was Mini Ninjas, which departed from Io-Interactive's usual violent, adult games. Mini Ninjas received generally mixed reception upon release.

In 2009, they were made to work under Square Enix following their acquisition of their parent company, Eidos Interactive.[21]

Their next game was the second installment of the Kane & Lynch series, entitled Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. This game received generally mixed reviews, being criticized for its extremely short length and lack of any real innovation.

They then made the next installment in the Hitman series, Hitman: Absolution, which was described as having been made more accessible for wider audiences.[22] The game received a polarized reception upon its November 2012 release.

In 2013, their parent company Square Enix ran into financial difficulties, and they had large numbers of employees cut to save money.[23] In addition to this, it was confirmed that Io-Interactive would be working solely on Hitman and would no longer be developing any more additions to the Kane & Lynch, Mini Ninjas, or Freedom Fighters series.[24]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
GC PS2 PS3 PS4 Wii PC Mac Xbox X360 XB1 OnLive
2000 Hitman: Codename 47 No No No No No Yes No No No No No
2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
2003 Freedom Fighters Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No
2004 Hitman: Contracts No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
2006 Hitman: Blood Money No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
2007 Kane & Lynch: Dead Men No No Yes No No Yes No No Yes No No
2009 Mini Ninjas No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
2010 Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days No No Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes
2012 Hitman: Absolution No No Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No
2016 Hitman No No No Yes No Yes No No No Yes No

External links[edit]