EA's Fantasy Shooter Game Studio Cuts 50% Staff Due to Poor Sales

EA's Fantasy Shooter Game Studio Cuts 50% Staff Due to Poor Sales

Launch Failure and Layoffs Hit Immortals of Aveum Game Studio

Screenshot: EA "Immortals of Aveum" was unveiled to the gaming world on August 22, making its debut on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC platforms. However, just a few weeks post-release, nearly half of the game development team have reportedly lost their jobs. The layoffs came in response to the game's underwhelming sales, falling short of meeting the publisher's expectations. This incident marks another wave of layoffs that have been making waves in the gaming industry this year.

Performance Issues and Sales Expectations

Developed by the creative minds at Ascendant Studios and published under the "EA Original" banner, "Immortals of Aveum" was a highly anticipated AAA FPS game. The game replaced traditional guns with unique and wild magic attacks. Initially scheduled to hit the market in July, its release was postponed to late August, coinciding with the launch of big names like "Starfield" and "Armored Core VI". This timing was a concern for many, fearing that "Immortals of Aveum" might be overshadowed by these high-profile releases. The game's rocky start was further hampered by performance issues that plagued PC players, even those with high-end rigs.

Layoffs Amidst Underperformance

With the game failing to meet sales targets, Ascendant Studios had to make the tough decision of downsizing its team. It was reported that around 40 individuals were laid off from Ascendant Studios. The unfortunate news was delivered in a meeting by the studio CEO, Bret Robbins. According to employees at Ascendant, the company's staff size was around 80 to 100 prior to the layoffs. A former employee also confirmed that the disappointing sales of "Immortals of Aveum" were the primary reason for these layoffs. The remaining staff were assured that these cuts were crucial for the company's survival.

Studio's Response to the Layoffs

In response to the layoffs, the CEO of Ascendant Studios made a statement on Twitter confirming that about 45 percent of the studio's staff were affected. He described the decision as 'painfully difficult, but necessary'. Robbins further assured that the company is doing its best to support those affected, including offering severance packages, job placement assistance, and support for the remaining employees.

Future of Immortals of Aveum

Despite the setbacks, the CEO expressed his pride in what the independent team has achieved with "Immortals of Aveum". He highlighted the creation of a new AAA studio, a new IP, and utilizing new technology in an era when such feats are increasingly rare. He also stated that the studio will continue to support the development of "Immortals of Aveum" with future updates and offers. However, a former employee revealed that "Immortals of Aveum" might be one of Electronic Arts’ worst-selling Originals, and several people were let go shortly after the game’s launch.

A Grim Trend in the Gaming Industry

This isn't the first incidence of layoffs in the gaming industry in 2023. Since the beginning of this year, major studios including Firaxis, CD Projekt Red, Unity, Kabam Games, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Riot Games, Meta, and others have also faced similar issues.

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