Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios has laid off nearly half of its staff just a few weeks after its AAA fantasy project launched. The news was first reported on by Polygon, with confirmation arriving shortly after from company CEO Bret Robbins.
Robbins posted a statement on the matter on X, saying that the layoffs affect around 45% of the studio’s staff. He calls the decision “painfully difficult,” adding that Ascendant is supporting those affected in a variety of ways, including “comprehensive severance packages. The CEO also calls for other developers looking for talent to reach out to the Immortals of Aveum developer.
“I am so proud of what our independent development team has accomplished with Immortals of Aveum. Together we’ve created a new AAA studio, a new IP, on new technology, during an era of our industry when that is exceedingly rare. We’ve poured our passion into Immortals, while wearing our hearts on our sleeves. The studio will continue to work that way as we support the development of this game and our Immortals IP moving forward with future updates and offers.”
Studios with open roles, please reach out to us here: [email protected]
— Bret Robbins (@BretRobbins) September 14, 2023
Immortals of Aveum and Ascendant Studios exist under the EA Originals umbrella, which includes other, more creatively-driven projects like Unravel and It Takes Two. The first-person magic shooter launched for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X | S on August 22 to mediocre reviews and currently sits with a 70 average critic score and 5.5 average user score on Metacritic. According to Polygon’s reporting, the layoffs are the result of poor sales numbers, with one former employee stating that the project is perhaps one of the worst selling EA Originals titles.
Immortals of Aveum was revealed at The Game Awards 2022 as a magic-based shooter from Ascendant, which included Robbins, who co-directed the original Dead Space and served as creative director on games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) and Call of Duty: World War 2. The Escapist’s KC Nwosu reviewed the title last month and enjoyed what it had to offer, praising its story, characters, and the ways it freshened up the FPS genre. Stay tuned for any updates from EA and Ascendant.