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Immortals of Aveum devs lay off almost half of studio, blaming poor sales of magical FPS

Ascendant CEO says support of debut game and Immortals IP will continue

Jak, main character in Immortals Of Aveum, looks into the camera as his eyes and face tattoos glow blue
Image credit: Ascendant Studios / EA

Ascendant Studios, the developers of EA’s first-person-shooter-with-spells Immortals of Aveum, has laid off dozens of staff just weeks after the game’s release.

Immortals of Aveum released less than a month ago on August 22nd, as Ascendant’s first game. The studio was founded back in 2019 by former Call of Duty and original Dead Space creative director Bret Robbins and largely made up of other industry veterans with experience across games from Halo to BioShock.

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Around half of Ascendant’s 80 to 100 staff were laid off on Thursday, with one former worker telling Polygon that Immortals’ “poor sales” were behind the move. Another said that multiple people had already been laid off following the game’s launch.

In a statement posted to X, Robbins confirmed that around 45% of the team had been laid off this week.

“This was a painfully difficult, but necessary decision that was not made lightly; nevertheless, we have to make this adjustment now that Immortals of Avenum has shipped,” Robbins wrote, saying that affected staff would receive "comprehensive severance packages and job placement assistance".

Immortals of Aveum released as an EA Original, the publisher’s label for titles from independent studios. Despite a fairly prominent marketing campaign and appearances at the Game Awards, it garnered mixed reviews from both critics and players alike, with criticism aimed at its high tech requirements on PC and lack of individuality.

“There are shining moments where it's great fun, but it's let down by its FPS combat becoming too repetitive too early,” our own Alice Bell wrote.

On PC, that culminated in a lacklustre player base; its Steam player count peaked at just over 750 concurrent players shortly after its release, before dropping to less than half of that number two weeks later. As of the time of writing, its 24-hour peak is just over 60 people, per SteamDB.

Battling an Oathbroken, a hulking boss enemy, in Immortals of Aveum,
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/EA

Robbins said that Ascendant would stick to its guns and continue to support Immortals - both its debut game and any future additions to the newly-created franchise - going forward:

"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."

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