Square Enix has parted ways with 'Hitman' developer IO Interactive leaving the future of the series in doubt.

Hitman

Hitman

In a statement released alongside its earnings report for 2017, the publisher revealed that it is to focus "resources and energies on key franchises and studios" and has therefore "regrettably decided to withdraw" from the developer.

Square Enix purchased IO Interactive in 2009 and whilst under the Enix umbrella released 'Mini Ninjas', 'Kane & Lynch 2', 'Hitman Absolution', and last year's seven-episode adventure simply titled 'Hitman', the sixth entry in the hugely popular video game series.

As recently as last October, IO Interactive had been talking up a second episodic installment of 'Hitman' but all future projects are now in doubt.

Square Enix has already begun discussions with potential new investors and is adamant that a successful sale is "in best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole".

A Twitter post from the official IO Interactive account did not much insight into the company's future, simply stating: "There's a lot going on right now and we'll have more to say at a later point."

Square Enix's 2017 earnings report was particularly strong mainly due to the record sales and strong performances of 'Final Fantasy XV' and 'Rise of the Tomb Raider'.