Is Immortals of Aveum’s Studio in the Coffin with One Foot?

The situation of Ascendant Studios sounds very problematic, as there has been an event around the studio that would continue the negative situation since the release of their game.


Last August, a month later than originally planned, Immortals of Aveum, the first game of Ascendant Studios, was released for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series and PC. The magical first-person shooter, powered by Unreal Engine 5, failed to sell well, and by September, nearly half of the studio’s staff had been laid off. At the time, Ascendant CEO Bret Robbins said that the game’s sales were poor amid frequent releases (Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon and Starfield were “close”) and that layoffs were necessary as a result.

Kris Morness previously worked for Ascendant Studios. On LinkedIn, the developer, who has since moved to Phoenix Labs, reported that the Robbins had laid off most of their staff. So the majority of the team is still employed on paper, but they’re not getting paid for it, and Morness can’t imagine what that must feel like, because it’s worse than being fired. Morness’ post was confirmed by Polygon editor Nicole Carpenter.

Unpaid leave does not count toward severance either, which is why what Morness said sounds wrong. Carpenter added that she had heard similar stories about Ascendant Studios, but could not confirm how many people had been forced to take leave, and contacted the studio in vain as they did not respond. According to Gamesindustry, 30 people were affected. In April 2023, more than 100 people worked there. In September, 40 people were laid off. So now the staff may have been halved, because 30 out of about 60 people may have been forced to take a break.

This is unofficial, but it sounds bad. After all, the studio is not far from shutting down completely. But if Electronic Arts, the publisher of their game, would push it, it would happen.

Source: VGC, Gamesindustry, LinkedIn,

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