Immortals of Aveum creator Ascendant Studios has laid off nearly half of its staff, according to three people at the studio. Workers estimated that before the layoffs the studio employed 80 to 100 people; around 40 people were laid off. Ascendant CEO Bret Robbins announced the layoffs in a meeting on Thursday.
One former worker told Polygon that Immortals of Aveum’s poor sales were cited for the layoffs, which were said to be necessary to keep the studio running. Immortals of Aveum was released on Aug. 22 on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. The first-person shooter was published by Electronic Arts as an EA Original title — it was originally heralded as a “groundbreaking” AAA single-player magic shooter from an independent studio. But when it was released, the game received mixed reviews from critics, who said it rehashed triple-A tropes.
Immortals of Aveum peaked at just under 800 Steam players shortly after launch, according to SteamDB. Just under one month since its launch, the game has peaked at 74 players over the past 24 hours, per the database’s numbers. This could be, in part, due to Immortals of Aveum’s intense technical requirements — according to The Verge, less than 9% of PCs may have qualified to run the game.
For a big budget first-person shooter, those Steam numbers do not paint a profitable picture. One former worker told Polygon that Immortals of Aveum is likely one of Electronic Arts’ worst selling Originals. Several other people were laid off in the weeks since release, too, one former worker said.
Update: Ascendant CEO Bret Robbins posted an update to X about the layoffs following the publication of this story.
pic.twitter.com/gftU3XlbFZ— Bret Robbins (@BretRobbins) September 14, 2023