Immortals of Aveum Developer: Making AAA Single-Player Shooter Was Awful Idea

"What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign that was far too long."

We all know the tale of Immortals of Aveum, a magic shooter by Ascendant Studios that never received the love it hoped for from players. What went wrong? Everyone has different ideas: the studio's CEO, Bret Robbins, believes the game launched at an unfortunate time oversaturated with other releases, like Baldur's Gate 3 and Armored Core 6.

A former developer who's worked on the title offers another reason: Immortals of Aveum's genre didn't fit the market and was too ambitious for the company's first project; "what ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign that was far too long."

"At a high level, Immortals was massively overscoped for a studio’s debut project,” they shared. “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.” 

Image credit: Ascendant Studios

Another worker pointed out that the game had a chance to be well received as it is "not a sequel or a remake, it doesn't take 400 hours to beat, has zero microtransactions, no pointless open world grinding." What it didn't have was sales. Overall, players reviewed it pretty well: it is "currently sitting at a 74 on Open Critic and a Mostly Positive on Steam. No one bought it."

During development, multiple publishers predicted Immortals of Aveum to be received well, so the outcome was a surprise for many. As a result, half of the team was laid off, and while sad, not much else could be done, according to the developer.

"There's plenty of layoffs due to gross mismanagement and greed (looking at you Embracer), but there's also plenty that happen because this is a stupidly volatile market that requires mountains of capital to participate in at a professional studio level."

Image credit: Ascendant Studios

Ascendant took care of its employees, paid them well, allowed them to work remotely, had little overtime, but it still didn't work out for Immortals. Even cutting the CEO’s salary wouldn't have been enough because it wouldn't help the game sell better, which was its biggest problem, according to the developers.

Why do you think Immortals of Aveum failed? Read more about how creators view layoffs on IGN and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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