A new report sheds some light on just how much EA invested in its single-player FPS Immortals of Aveum, which received mixed reviews and was deemed a financial flop.
Immortals of Aveum launched in August 2023 amidst one of the busiest years of game releases in history, bookended by behemoths like Diablo 4, Starfield, and Baldur’s Gate 3. Ascendant Studios’ self-styled “Call of Duty with magic” experiment was compelling enough, and I personally think it deserved more attention, but it ultimately missed EA’s expectations by enough of a margin that about 45% of the studio’s workforce was laid off shortly after release.
The studio’s CEO, Bret Robbins, has gone on record to blame Immortals’ poor sales on last year’s extraordinarily busy release calendar, but an anonymous former Ascendant employee speaking to IGN said, actually, the concept of the game itself and its sizable budget were both fundamental mistakes and ultimately doomed the project.
“At a high level, Immortals was massively overscoped for a studio’s debut project,” the former employee said. “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.”
Whatever the reason Immortals of Aveum didn’t succeed, it sucks that its failure will only further discourage major studios from investing in the sort of big budget single-player, no-nonsense action games we’re seeing less and less of these days, and redundancies affecting passionate developers suck even worse.
Another anonymous employee, still at Ascendant, told IGN that there was potential in Immortals’ old-school approach, but admitted it failed to find an audience regardless. “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 OpenCritic and a Mostly Positive on Steam. No one bought it.”
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