Embracer cancels Deus Ex game in development for two years

UPDATE 6pm UK: A statement from Eidos Montreal has confirmed 97 jobs have been lost at the studio, following the previously-reported news that its Deus Ex project has been cancelled. The studio employed 481 people, as of 2022.

“For the last 17 years, our teams at Eidos have worked on some of the most beloved brands in the industry, combining deep storytelling and innovation into unique games,” the studio wrote in a statement posted on social media. “We have created memorable multi awarded experiences that we are proud of and we know our teams members have put their heart and soul in all of them.

“The global economic context, the challenges of our industry and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio. The difficult decision has been made to let go 97 people from development teams, administration, and support services.

“We are working to support all impacted personnel through this transition. These very talented, highly experienced people are entering the employment market, and we want them to find their next projects and are helping to do so.

“As we navigate these difficult times, the well-being of our team is our priority and the continuous commitment to creating games that players will be able to enjoy.”

Embracer declined to comment on specific studios, but again reiterated its previously announced restructuring program, which it said will run until the end of March this year. “This process will be managed locally on operative group level with focus on informing affected employees first,” Embracer told Eurogamer.

The company will “update the market on restructuring program progress on a regular basis, in connection with quarterly reports or otherwise as required by applicable legislation,” Embracer said. Its next quarterly report is due to be published on 15th February.

Eidos Montreal’s new Deus Ex game has been cancelled by Embracer Group, prompting an unknown number of layoffs at the studio.

As reported by Bloomberg, the upcoming project had been in development at Eidos Montreal for around two years, following its acquisition by Embracer in 2022. The decision to call an end to this project was part of the Swedish conglomerate’s ongoing restructuring and cost cutting measures.

Those who remain at the studio will now shift their focus to an “original franchise”, Bloomberg said.

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According to the publication’s sources – who chose to remain anonymous as they have not been authorised to talk publicly about the project – the now-cancelled Deus Ex game was expected to enter full production later this year.

There were previously rumours a Deus Ex game was in the works, but the project was yet to be publicly announced.

Eurogamer has asked Embracer for comment.

This year has seen multiple other companies announce layoffs, including League of Legends developer Riot Games, Black Forest Games, Unity, Behaviour Interactive and Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games.

Last week, Microsoft announced it was laying off 1900 employees across its video game teams. In an email sent around the company, Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer called this a “painful decision”.

Meanwhile, earlier this month GDC published its 2024 State of the Game Industry report. Here, it said 35 percent of game developers had been impacted by layoffs in the last 12 months. Additionally, half of those surveyed said they are concerned more job cuts are on the way.

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