HitmanAccording to Official Playstation Magazine, video game publisher IO Interactive has stated that the next installment in the popular Hitman franchise will not be developed in-house.

Instead, the reigns are being passed to Square Enix Montreal to develop the series that made IO Interactive famous.

Tore Blystad, director of the latest installment to the franchise, Hitman: Absolution, had this to say when asked about how natural the game’s transition will be between the two studios, “It’s like with Treyarch and Infinity Ward. You have an IP that has been developed. They will feed off each other, as well as some things that stand out. I think with these big franchises it takes a long time to develop just one game. If you can, work a little bit in parallel at least and help each other out.”

Still understandably protective of the franchise that brought them fame, IO Interactive will monitor development progress as Square Enix Montreal makes progress on the game.

Blystad went on to state, “Luckily it’s with someone we know. Some of the key developers came from IO and have been working on previous games so it’s not like it’s in completely new hands.”

The next installment likely won’t come out for a few years, as develop IO Interactive has a lot on their plate currently. Hitman: Absolution just released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC to stellar reviews, right in time for the holiday season.

What do you think of a new Hitman developed by Square Enix Montreal? Sound off in the comments section below.