IO Interactive is a Danish video game development company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company was founded in 1998 by "Nordisk Film" (US affiliate: Great Northern Film Company) a film studio and the game developer "RetoMoto". IO Interactive was later bought by its current owners, the British game developer and publisher Eidos in 2004. IO Interactive has more than 200 employees from 23 different countries working in the IO Interactive offices in Copenhagen, currently developing game titles and new IO technologies. IO Interactive work closely with other Eidos Studios, but also with companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Sony and a long list of universities and art schools.
Close to almost every IO Interactive game, the music has often been composed and made by the famous video game composer, Jesper Kyd.
IO Interactive developed the first version of The Glacier Engine in 1998 and has constantly been improving it since then, throughout the several Hitman games, Freedom Fighters, Mini Ninjas and not to forget the Kane & Lynch games.
In 2011 it was announced that a new improved Glacier 2 Engine would be running the upcoming Hitman Absolution game. And this will be the first time that the public will be seing the new engine in all its glory. Even though that many speculated that the newest game from IO Interactive, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, would be running on the new Glacier 2 engine, the fact was that the game actually only ran on the old Glacier 1 engine. And for an engine created back in 1994, that must be said to have been a fair farewell to a sublime game engine, taking into account the environment and quality it made possible in most part of every IO Interactive up until Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.
Cutback - 2010
At the end of Q1 of 2010 IO Interactive announced they had to cut back around 20% of the total workforce of around 200 people, which at the time meant that 35 employees lost their jobs.
Even though some speculated it having to do with some crisis inside IO Interactive, the CEO of IO Interactive, Niels Jørgensen denied that claim:
"Our business is very afflicted by the single projects and for that you need to make some adjustments, of how many employees that need to be assigned."
He furthermore stated:
"We are sorry to say goodbye to our employees, but it is a natural process, when you work in a project organization."
New blood & new game?
In the beginning of June, 2011, after the announcement of Hitman Absolution, several articles in the danish press reported that the danish game developer IO Interactive was looking for new employees to an yet unannounced AAA title. On the danish career network "monster", it was possible to apply and it still is possible to apply for the job positions as "Game Programmer". More specifically, these are programmers who can assist with the development of game elements as "AI, camera control, hero, special effects, audio and animation." (External Link).
The job listing among many things said:
For an unannounced AAA action title we are hiring more game programmers. We are looking for programmers to work on a wide range of game components like AI, camera control, Hero, special effects, audio and animations.
Currently we have several projects in different stages and have a number of ambitious, tech driven features. Therefore it is important for us to find candidates with the ability to develop technology from scratch or modify existing, the ambition to make tech into fun game play and the drive to take it through to a polished game.
Later on it also came up on IO Interactive's own homepage that they were looking for new employees, not only including game programmers, but also UI designers and associate producers for an unknown AAA title.
Back in 2007 a movie version of the game series "Hitman" was released to world wide theaters, with Timothy Olyphant playing Hitman 47. The movie was an succes and grossed in United States almost 40 million US $, through 60,3 million US $ on an international level bringing the total world wide gross up to more than 100 million US $, and further more 28 million in US DVD sales.
"Kane & Lynch"
In 2010 it was announced that a movie portraying the duo, was to begin shooting in 2010, with Bruce Willis as Kane and Jamie Foxx as Lynch. The movie has since its announcement been delayed a number of times because directors joining and then leaving the project. Directors such as F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen, The Italian Job), Patrick Alessandrin (District 13: Ultimatum), Antoine Fuqua (Tears of the Sun) and Wayne Kramer (Running Scared), have all been joining and then leaving the project, with many different official and unofficial reasons such as creative differences etc. This caused the film studios Lionsgate & Nu Image Films to push the movie back from it's original date in late 2010 to sometime in 2011.
Currently july 2011 the official status quo is that the current director is once again F. Gary Gray, and the movie is due to begin shooting in sometime late 2011. But since several sources have rumored other project start dates in 2012 and 2013, nothing is completely certain until the film studios make a new statement.
After the succes of the first "Hitman" movie from 2007, Twentieth Century Fox ordered in 2009 the screenwriter behind the other IO Interactive movie project "Kane & Lynch", Kyle Ward to write a new script for the balded killer. The plot is said to evolve around the upcoming IO Interactive game Hitman Absolution, with focus of showing a different and darker side of Agent 47.
The latest july 2011 status quo about the movie is that the movie is due to begin filming in 2012.