Ryan Barnard, game director on Ubisoft’s smash hit MMOTPSRPG The Division has left Massive Entertainment to join the Square Enix studio behind the latest Hitman.
Industry mag MCV noted that from the end of February Barnard’s LinkedIn page shows him joining IO Interactive, the Danish studio behind Hitman and—more importantly—Freedom Fighters. Remember Freedom Fighters? Man, imagine if they were making another Freedom Fighters. It would basically be The Division wouldn’t it?
Barnard joins the team as a gameplay director, a newly created role for himself, looking after all aspects of IO’s development including gameplay, online and ‘world’ units.
“Ryan’s contributions to game design over the years show he’s the ideal person to spearhead the coming efforts,” Square Enix said in a statement. “We are very happy to add his talent to the pool of great people working at IO.”
Barnard and IO have some shared history, both having worked under the EA umbrella at some point before Barnard left the now-defunct EA Mythic for Crytek in 2008, and IO Interactive was acquired by Eidos in 2003. The same year they finished Freedom Fighters.
What a game that was.