Immortals of Aveum studio forced to lay-off employees following lackluster launch

When will the video game industry learn that just because a game looks good, doesn’t mean it can get away with murder.

On August 22, Ascendant Studios’ game Immortals of Aveum, which was released by EA under the EA Originals label, was released for the PC, Xbox Series S/X, and PlayStation 5. It aimed to subvert the conventional first-person shooter genre by substituting a variety of magical attacks for firearms. Regretfully, the game’s developers are already terminating half of their workforce less than a month after its launch, which saw a pitiful number of players log in due to the game’s revenues falling well short of the publisher’s expectations.

It was originally supposed to be out in July, but due to a delay, it didn’t come out until late August. This new release window placed it near two other significant game releases: Baldur’s Gate 3 from Larian Studios and Starfield from Bethesda Game Studios. It didn’t help that Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon by FromSoftware was released at the same time.

In short, Immortals of Aveum, a brand-new property with a decent game and demanding prerequisites on the PC, was destined to fail from the first.

Ascendant Studios laid off roughly forty employees, according to Polygon, which broke the story first. CEO Bret Robbins disclosed this information during a formal meeting. Sources close to the studio said that between 80 and 100 people worked there before. The primary cause of the regrettable employment layoffs was found to be Immortals of Aveum’s poor sales performance. According to reports, the studio believed that taking such extreme steps was necessary to keep the business solvent.

Robbins took to X to clarify that about 45% of their employees—mostly artists and Unreal Engine 5 engineers—were impacted. The choice, in his words, was “painfully difficult, but necessary.” Comprehensive severance payouts, help finding new jobs, and ongoing support for those still employed by the corporation were offered to the laid-off workers.

The Immortals of Aveum development team has accomplished amazing things on its own. We took risks by starting a AAA studio, releasing a new intellectual property, and utilizing cutting-edge technology in a demanding business environment,” Robbins said.

Immortals of Aveum may have done better with a bit more marketing and a lot more polish.

It Takes Two and other small-time developers have benefited from Electronic Arts‘ EA Originals program, which was created to support them. Nevertheless, Immortals of Aveum stands out as the least successful EA Originals release, even under a label that has experienced its fair share of failures, including Rocket Arena and Wild Hearts.

Game developers haven’t had a good year overall. Relatively low sales combined with high expectations and rising video game development costs have led to significant layoffs announced by companies like CD Projekt RED, Ubisoft, and Embracer Group, among others.

Regarding Immortals of Aveum, it’s uncertain what Ascendant Studios’ future holds. Immortals of Aveum wasn’t too horrible in terms of gameplay and quality. It had interesting combat, excellent voice acting, and a visually appealing design. It was noteworthy, nonetheless, since it lacked depth and replayability. But, as was already said, the fact that it demanded a lot of PC players may have been the last straw.

EA Originals hasn’t been the most successful initiative in recent years.

The next project from Ascendant Studios has not yet been revealed.

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