The gaming industry is well aware of the ups and downs of a new title launch. A noteworthy recent title is Immortals of Aveum, brought to life by Ascendant Studios and backed by EA.
Despite its promising concepts and the push for higher visual fidelity through the popular Unreal Engine 5, the game encountered unforeseen challenges, leading to a major shift within the studio.
Following the game’s release, developer Ascendent Studios has announced massive layoffs, nearly cutting the development team in half.
Why it matters: CEO Bret Robbins’ decision to part ways with 45% of the workforce underlines the challenges of game development that are often untold.
— Bret Robbins (@BretRobbins) September 14, 2023
Immortals of Aveum, released on August 22, 2023, was initially slated for a July release. However, the launch was postponed until August, bringing it into close proximity with releases like Starfield and Armored Core 6.
Concerns arose that Immortals of Aveum might be overshadowed by major titles. This worry was compounded by performance issues on PC, which affected even high-end systems.
Such unfortunate problems likely contributed to its underwhelming reception. The game failed to meet sales expectations, resulting in a tough decision for Ascendant Studios.
CEO Bret Robbins had to make the painful decision to lay off about 45% of the employees in order to streamline operations and secure the company’s future. Until recently, the company consisted of a team of 80 to 100 dedicated employees.
Announcing the layoffs, the CEO said:
“We part ways with colleagues at Ascendant Studios – about 45% of our team.”
Robbins assured support for those affected, including generous severance packages. He also offered help with finding new employment and extra services for the remaining team.
While undoubtedly a hard choice, it is believed to be crucial for the studio’s sustained viability.
In 2023, several major studios in the gaming industry, such as CD Projekt Red, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Riot Games, experienced unfortunate layoffs. Industry giants like EA also announced 800 job cuts earlier this year.
The recent closure of Volition, the veteran studio behind the popular Saints Row franchise, highlights another instance of the ongoing challenges in the industry.
Immortals of Aveum serves as a reminder of the volatile nature of the gaming industry. However, despite the setbacks, Bret has reassured that Ascendant Studios remains committed to its craft and the future of the Immortals IP.
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