- Robbins said the company offered ‘comprehensive’ severance packages for departing employees
- Some X users expressed sadness over the layoff news
- An early review of ‘Immortals of Aveum’ said the game had very high technical requirements
Ascendant Studios, the developer of “Immortals of Aveum,” has laid off almost half of its workforce only three weeks after it released the single-player first-person shooter game. This comes as concerns have been raised that the game has very high technical requirements, which may have resulted in fewer players.
“This was a painfully difficult, but necessary decision that was not made lightly; nevertheless, we have to make this adjustment now that Immortals of Aveum was shipped,” Bret Robbins, the studio’s CEO, said in a post on X on Thursday.
Robbins said the gaming company was supporting departing employees through “comprehensive” severance packages that include outplacement assistance and “support services for those who remain.”
The exact number of laid-off and remaining employees is unknown. Ascendant Studios did not immediately respond to International Business Times‘ request for comment.
Workers estimated that the San Rafael, California-based studio, had between 80 and 100 staffers. Around 40 people were laid off Thursday, Polygon reported.
Some users on X have since expressed sadness over the news. One user said it was “a shame it came down to this,” adding that “Immortals of Aveum,” which was released on Aug. 22, was a “fun game to experience and play through.”
Another user said it was “very disheartening” to learn about the layoffs. One user said the game was “breathtaking to look at,” adding that affected employees should know that they “created something special for many of us.”
The news of the layoffs came as the Electronics Arts-published game peaked at under 800 Steam players shortly after it was launched. Data from SteamDB showed that the game only saw a peak of 67 players in the last 24 hours.
Responding to the layoff announcement by Robbins, one X user said that the developer “made sure nobody would be able to play your game,” echoing The Verge’s early review of “Immortals of Aveum” which said the game had very high technical requirements. The outlet noted that based on the game’s GPU requirements, it was likely that under 9% of existing gaming PCs would have the necessary specs to play the game.
A former worker told Polygon that the game was likely one of EA’s worst-selling original releases. EA said in December that the Ascendant Studios game was a “groundbreaking” title. At the time, the general manager of EA Partners, Jeff Gamon, said the team at Ascendant Studios was “incredible,” as “every team member has a wealth of experience developing many of gaming’s biggest cinematic action and first-person shooter games over the past decade.”
One former software engineer joked that after getting a “platinum trophy” for his work on “Immortals of Aveum,” he got a “lousy pink slip” in return.
Ascendant Studios joins other gaming studios and publishers that laid off employees this year, including Unity, EA, Ubisoft, Phoenix Labs and Riot Games.
In the greater tech sector, more than 235,600 employees have lost their jobs, as per the layoff tracker layoffs.fyi.