Various former staff from Ascendant Studios have spoken anonymously about the performance of Immortals of Aveum, the magical FPS published by EA back in 2023. In said statements, these sources have claimed the game had a budget of $125 million, and that "no one bought it".
These quotes are just a relatively small snippet from a fantastic IGN report on video game industry layoffs, which you can read here. These former staff from Ascendant Studios provided their insight on Immortals of Aveum after the studio behind it laid off roughly 45% of its workforce.
The piece starts with an anecdote from the Immortals of Aveum launch party, in which higher-ups reportedly made non-commital statements to fellow staff when asked about the performance of Immortals of Aveum. Later in the piece, an employee states the following:
"At a high level, Immortals was massively overscoped for a studio’s debut project [...] The development cost was around $85 million, and I think EA kicked in $40 million for marketing and distribution. Sure, there was some serious talent on the development team, but trying to make a AAA single-player shooter in today’s market was a truly awful idea, especially since it was a new IP that was also trying to leverage Unreal Engine 5. What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign that was far too long.”
Another former employee expressed their thoughts via a popular video game industry mantra that's gained traction on social media. This meme, that people want shorter games with worse graphics, made by people paid more to work less, apparently defined the vision for Immortals of Aveum fairly well. However, despite trying to mirror popular sentiments, this approach didn't result in the success the studio was hoping for.
“It's not a sequel or a remake, it doesn't take 400 hours to beat, has zero microtransactions, no pointless open world grinding. Although not everyone loved it, it reviewed pretty well, currently sitting at a 74 on Open Critic and a Mostly Positive on Steam. No one bought it.”
As noted in our review of Immortals of Aveum, the game had merits, but was a hard sell due to its placement in the calander. It found itself squashed between games with a lot more hype around them, including Armored Core 6 and Baldur's Gate 3. It was a game squashed between titans, in a year packed with various heavy hitters.
Did you pick up Immortals of Aveum? If you did, let us know what your thought about it? Let us know below.