Hitman developer IO Interactive has opened a new studio in Brighton, England.
The independent developer and publisher said the core team at IOI Brighton is already in place and will contribute to all its games in active development.
“We are extremely proud and excited to open our next studio in Brighton, where we see enormous potential to expand our incredible team and attract the very best talent from the exciting UK development scene,” said IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak.
IO was first established in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1998. It opened a second studio in Malmo, Sweden in 2019, followed by a third in Barcelona, Spain in 2021, and a fourth in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this year.
The company announced in November 2020 that it was developing an officially licensed James Bond game. With the working title Project 007, it will feature an original James Bond origin story.
And in February, IO confirmed that’s it’s working on an online fantasy RPG, which is expected to be published by Microsoft for Xbox Series X/S and PC.
While IO plans to continue evolving its Hitman World of Assassination trilogy, it recently said the next major entry in its best known franchise has taken a backseat for the time being.
“The [Brighton] studio is for all projects,” Abrak told GamesIndustry.biz. “We are working a bit differently compared to other companies. They’re more like ‘this studio is working on this project’ or ‘this studio is doing some elements of this project’.
“Across our studios, our projects are front and centre. Which means anybody, regardless of what studio or country they’re working from, they can work criss-cross on different projects. It’s not like in Istanbul they’re on 007, and in Brighton they’re only doing Project Fantasy… they can all work on the different projects.”
He added: “If one project, say, requires 400 people to work on it… putting 400 people in one location and saying ‘that’s what you do’, I don’t believe that’s the right way. I’ve been operating with this concept of a dunbar number, which is when you get more than 140/150 people locally… you lose that sense of belonging.
“I believe we are capable of thousands of people working on projects together, but I just want to avoid having that feeling of a factory, which can happen when you’ve got 500 people in the same place. This is part of keeping things dynamic and making sure our studios don’t overgrow. I would rather meet talent where they are, be a bit more diverse with different cities and different countries.
“When we get to the critical mass of people we need, I don’t expect any of these studios to have more than 100 to 150 people each.”