IO Interactive, the developers behind both the Kane & Lynch and Hitman games, may have stopped development on a fifth Hitman title after  downsizing the studio. Thirty staff members were let go from IO, and a game that was in the works has been canned.

There has been no official word on whether or not the title was indeed Hitman 5, or perhaps another project the studio was working on (say, Mini Ninjas 2). Some sources are suggesting that the game in question was, in fact, a “secret project” under development specifically for Microsoft. The last word on Hitman 5 was that it could be slated for a Christmas release in the year 2011, which is still quite a long ways off.

Niels Jørgensen, IO Interactive’s general manager, released a statement regarding the loss of employees at the company.

“I can confirm that we have made some internal changes at IO Interactive which has regrettably resulted in the loss of some jobs. This is a natural part of any studio’s existence when you ramp-up and ramp-down on projects to ensure you have the right level of resource and expertise within the studio.”

“We genuinely wish those who have been affected by this, the best of luck for the future.”

Which members of the IO Interactive team were affected by the downsizing is not currently known. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (and our review) was released only a few months ago, and was very much improved over the first installment of the series. It would be easy to speculate the employees let go all worked on the gritty crime shooter, but without confirmation, it’s important to not jump to conclusions.

IO Interactive has yet to make any official announcement regarding developing a fifth Hitman game. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the next rumblings coming out of the studio will be positive.

Ranters, would you be interested in a new Hitman game, or would you rather see IO Interactive explore a new IP?

Source: CVG

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