A Square Enix representative confirmed to Joystiq this morning that Hitman franchise / Kane & Lynch 2 developer IO Interactive has let go of an undisclosed number of staff members (reports claim as many as 35 out of approximately 200). In a statement from IO general manager Niels Jorgensen, the layoffs are explained as necessary to keep the business "operating effectively as projects start up and ramp down." Considering the studio's next game isn't set for release until late August, it's not clear if this decision will impact the game's final stages of development (if at all).
Jorgensen goes on to say that he believes the "organizational changes" will help IO "continue to deliver great games," while he also regrets the loss of said personnel. "We would like to thank all employees affected for their contribution and efforts and wish them well in their future careers." We've posted the full response from Jorgensen after the break, and would like to extend our condolences to anyone who lost their job at IO.