“We are super excited and proud to announce IOI Malmö. We will expand IOI to join a buzzing game developer community and bring our own unique IOI culture to this amazing town,” said IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak.
“The IOI expansion in Malmö was a natural choice as there is a very strong existing video game industry,” he added. “I believe it has all opportunities to become the epicentre of game development in Scandinavia.”
IO Interactive was founded in 1998 in Copenhagen and later acquired by publisher Eidos Interactive in 2004, which was itself acquired by Japanese publisher Square Enix in 2009. Square reportedly stopped funding IOI in 2017 and was looking for a buyer when the studio decided to perform its own buyout, becoming an independent developer again. It held onto the rights to the “Hitman” franchise and put out a sequel in November.
While IOI’s 2016 “Hitman” was an episodic game, “Hitman 2” is a full-fledged experience that folds in the first game’s content along with all-new massive levels, mission stories, and a co-operative mode. Variety reviewer Arthur Gies called it a “fierce love letter to fans of the series.”
“It’s not a perfect relationship — none ever will be. But at its heart, ‘Hitman 2’ succeeds at being the most well-realized articulation of all of the things that the series has ever done well,” he wrote.
The new Malmö offices are already fully operational and they will help deliver content to the “Hitman” franchise. The new studio will also help IO Interactive “expand [its] muscles for creating brand-new and exciting endeavors, new universes, and new franchises.”
“In other words, IOI Malmö and Copenhagen are one family,” Abrak said.