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Good news for fans of HITMAN, as IO Interactive have confirmed they've retained the rights and become a fully independent studio.

Here's the most important snippet from the press release sent out today:
QuoteTherefore I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.


Very welcome news after a period of uncertainty since Square Enix decided to start cutting down, which included removing their funding of IO Interactive.

Hopefully they will continue to work with Feral Interactive to bring more exciting titles to Linux. Without a publisher funding them though, this could mean future titles may end up watered-down compared to what they've done recently. Considering how well the latest HITMAN has done for them, I am hopeful they will continue pushing out great games.

I personally think the latest HITMAN is fantastic and I've certainly enjoyed my time with it. I am really hoping they do a second season as I need more.

See the full post here.
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bintsmok 18 June 2017 at 3:48 pm UTC
Thanks for the replies.

Let's say the financials are not an issue and the porting company can do it successfully. Will there any be logical reason for the Windows publisher not to allow the game to be ported to Linux?
wojtek88 18 June 2017 at 4:47 pm UTC
bintsmokThanks for the replies.

Let's say the financials are not an issue and the porting company can do it successfully. Will there any be logical reason for the Windows publisher not to allow the game to be ported to Linux?
Yes and no. Let me elaborate on this.

The problem is that your assumption is wrong. Financials are always an issue -> Party that has rights to the game has to see business value in new market (either now or in long-term perspective). Regarding "porting company can do it successfully" I will use Witcher game series as an example to answer your question, because I have an impression that you want to focus on Witcher 3.

First of all -> CD Projekt Red already ordered Linux port of one of the Witcher series games - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. I don't know if you are familiar with the story, but initial port caused serious shitstorm. Quality of the port was very bad, and Linux users were requesting their money back, Windows users were laughing at Linux users, because of low quality of the game and because of low performance of OpenGL, etc.
Virtual Programming did this port, and many Linux gamers started to hate their "eON" wrapper.
3 years later the game works almost as good as Windows version performance-wise, eON wrapper is mature (has it's own issues of course, but is decent from my perspective).
The question here is -> is such a port successful? Today, the game works like it should, however, it looks like CD Projekt RED interpreted this port as a failure, because they avoid talking about Linux versions of their games. If first port would be successful from very beginning, I am 100% sure that we would be playing Linux version of Witcher 3 game for a year now.

The other aspect related to successful port is the fact that porting the game like Witcher 3 is an ongoing process. You need to ensure that the game on other platform is up-to-date with the version on base platform. Take a look at other games Feral Interactive ported -> those games have some delay with updates while comparing with Windows version of the game. Because of that I can assume, that Feral's port is not merged to game's codebase, and because of that they have to manually adapt changes made in game's codebase to port's codebase. If my assumption is true, Feral's developers have to do some ungrateful work after port is published and updates to already ported games are released.

This business model has it's serious disadvantages -> at some point port done by 3rd party may be not developed anymore, while the game itself is in development, and as a result, people who invested money in Linux version of the game cannot play their game anymore. I refer to this situation.

So it's not black and white and that's why there is no simple yes/no answear to your question.


Last edited by wojtek88 at 18 June 2017 at 4:48 pm UTC
Beamboom 19 June 2017 at 9:36 am UTC
liamhis could mean future titles may end up watered-down compared to what they've done recently

This concern is very real. If the released title didn't sell enough to earn a decent profit (why else would SE dicontinue it) then will this company have enough strength to carry a development of such a big production alone?

Time will show...
harshbarj 19 June 2017 at 7:54 pm UTC
liamdaweThere's no reason to assume IO will suddenly be anti-Linux.

There's also no reason to think they will be supporting Linux either. Their track record looks rather dismal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IO_Interactive#Games_developed
Year Title Platform(s) GCN PS2 PS3 PS4 Wii Win Linux Mac Xbox X360 XB1 2000 Hitman: Codename 47 No No No No No Yes No No No No No 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Yes No No 2003 Freedom Fighters Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Yes No No 2004 Hitman: Contracts No Yes No No No Yes No No Yes No No 2006 Hitman: Blood Money No Yes No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No 2007 Kane & Lynch: Dead Men No No Yes No No Yes No No No Yes No 2009 Mini Ninjas No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No 2010 Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days No No Yes No No Yes No No No Yes No 2012 Hitman: Absolution No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No 2016 Hitman No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes[25] No No Yes


Last edited by harshbarj at 19 June 2017 at 7:54 pm UTC
Beamboom 19 June 2017 at 8:32 pm UTC
harshbarjThere's also no reason to think they will be supporting Linux either. Their track record looks rather dismal.

To be fair, that track record goes a long time back, long before Linux were even remotely relevant as a gaming platform. Personally I don't think we should judge any gaming company on what they did for Linux in the pre-Steam era, ergo before 2013.


Last edited by Beamboom at 20 June 2017 at 8:05 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
liamdawe 19 June 2017 at 9:40 pm UTC
Beamboom
harshbarjThere's also no reason to think they will be supporting Linux either. Their track record looks rather dismal.

To be fair, that track record goes a long time back, long before Linux were even remotely relevant as a gaming platform. Personally I don't think we should judge any company on what they did for Linux in the pre-Steam era, ergo before 2013.
This is something important to remember. Since Steam has been on Linux, the only HITMAN game released since then supports Linux.

Edit: clarified a bit


Last edited by liamdawe at 19 June 2017 at 9:40 pm UTC
lucifertdark 20 June 2017 at 2:21 pm UTC
Looking at it on a strictly financial basis, Square Enix were the ones who bankrolled the Linux port of Hitman, so without their large wallet IO Interactive will have to rationalise what platform they can afford to develop for, a Windows only game is guaranteed to keep the lights on, we might not just lose the next Hitman in this, Feral could easily vanish as well, I really hope I'm wrong.
Ehvis 20 June 2017 at 2:51 pm UTC
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lucifertdarkLooking at it on a strictly financial basis, Square Enix were the ones who bankrolled the Linux port of Hitman, ...

I'm not so sure about that. It seems more likely to me that Feral paid for their own development of the port and earns back this investment from the sales. This arrangement makes it much more likely for a publisher to agree to the port.
lucifertdark 20 June 2017 at 3:30 pm UTC
Ehvis
lucifertdarkLooking at it on a strictly financial basis, Square Enix were the ones who bankrolled the Linux port of Hitman, ...

I'm not so sure about that. It seems more likely to me that Feral paid for their own development of the port and earns back this investment from the sales. This arrangement makes it much more likely for a publisher to agree to the port.
You know that never even occured to me, I wish IO & Feral a long & productive career in Linux Game ports.


Last edited by lucifertdark at 20 June 2017 at 3:30 pm UTC
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