IO Interactive lost the right to make Kane & Lynch sequels when its ties with Square Enix were severed earlier this year.
The news was revealed in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, where IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak discussed the shift to independent development after a management buyout saved them from souring negotiations with Square Enix.
Abrak noted that IO "lost Kane & Lynch and Mini Ninjas in the divorce," but the company has managed to acquire control of the rights to the Hitman franchise, as well as Freedom Fighters.
Kane & Lynch is third-person shooter franchise that received two installments developed by IO interactive. The games had you controlling two bank-robbing mercenaries caught up in criminal organizations that spanned the globe. For our thoughts on 2010's Kane & Lynch 2, read IGN's review