IOI turns 25!

The story of IO Interactive

25 years ago, IO Interactive was founded with the desire of adding fuel to the growing creative fire of genre-defining, technology-pushing games in the late 1990s.

Our first major achievement was the development of Hitman: Codename 47 in 2000, which received praise for its intricate design and innovative gameplay. This success was followed by the release of three sequels; Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money within a span of just six years.

IOI's ambition has always been to create immersive, system-driven worlds filled with beautiful art and innovative design. However, twenty-five years ago, there was no off-the-shelf engine that provided what we needed. So, we built our own game engine, Glacier, which has served as the backbone of all our games since then, providing a stable foundation for our increasingly detailed worlds over the years.

Driven by our natural curiosity, we embarked on the creation of new worlds and the expansion of our technological capabilities. This led to the development of the squad-based third-person shooter "Freedom Fighters". A few years later, we added the visceral crime shooter series "Kane & Lynch" to our repertoire, broadening our multiplayer experience with the energetic "Fragile Alliance" game mode. And then came "Mini Ninjas", spawned by a maturing team of developers who wanted to break the molds of our previous games and explore a game space that could be enjoyed by players of all ages, including children. IOI was growing up.

In the face of the constantly changing gaming landscape, we have navigated corporate changes and market demands with resilience. We explored an entirely new release model with HITMAN (2016) and faced our greatest challenge yet: becoming independent from our previous owner, Square Enix. In 2017, we proudly emerged as one of the few truly independent AAA game studios worldwide.

This independence allowed us to maintain our creative essence and prioritize our goal of creating ever-expanding worlds for our players. It gave us full control over the execution of our studio strategy. In the following years, despite financial and global epidemic pressures, we successfully published two additional HITMAN titles to finish the trilogy, ultimately delivering the complete World of Assassination as envisioned a decade earlier.

With our success came growth. In 2019, we expanded by opening a new studio in Malmö. This was followed by Barcelona in 2021, and most recently Istanbul and Brighton in 2023. These expansions demonstrate our increasing ambitions and our dedication to nurturing a diverse team with different talents and perspectives.

The flame of innovation and the desire to explore have led us to recently announce Project 007, the very first James Bond origin story, as well as a brand-new IP with Project Fantasy.

Impactful games by impactful people.

As we celebrate a quarter-century of innovation, we remain inspired by the passion and curiosity of our developers.

Explore our timeline

Established in the pioneering digital era of late '90s gaming, our commitment was, and remains, simple: to make great games.

IO Interactive is founded
First game launched with Glacier
Hitman: Codename 47
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
Freedom Fighters
Hitman: Contracts
Hitman: Blood Money
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Mini Ninjas
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
Hitman: Absolution
IOI Malmö studio opens
IOI Barcelona studio opens
2023 - Present
HITMAN World of Assassination
IOI Istanbul studio opens
IOI Brighton studio opens
Three adventurous characters emerge from a cave and look out on a stunning fantasy environment: lush landscape, rocky mountains, quaint villages, and a bright sun in the sky casting beams across the horizon.
In development
Project Fantasy
In development
Project 007
Thank you for 25 years of curiosity and creative courage.

And now, the journey continues. Even after 25 years, we continue to challenge ourselves to make an impact by creating and exploring new and exciting universes for our players.