A developer who worked on Immortals Of Aveum has described the decision to create a new “triple-A single-player shooter in today’s market” as a “truly awful idea”.
Anonymised in IGN‘s recent report on the state of the industry and the layoffs in 2023, the developer claimed that the game cost Ascendant Studios £99million ($125million) in a budget that priced development at £67million ($85million) and marketing and distribution at £31.7million ($40million).
“Sure, there was some serious talent on the development team, but trying to make a triple-A 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,” they explained.
“What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign that was far too long.”
The developer alleged that they, along with almost half of the staff at Ascendant Studios, were laid off only a few weeks after the launch party. The party itself had an odd atmosphere, they recalled, with developers asking senior staff whether or not Immortals Of Aveum was doing well enough to warrant the celebration.
Another employee who is apparently still at Ascendant Studios said that Immortals Of Aveum was trying to be shorter than the average first-person shooter, aiming to appeal to an audience that was tired of live-service trends.
“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,” they shared. “No one bought it.”
Sales were a “tiny fraction” of what was anticipated for Immortals Of Aveum, and so, the developer let go of 40 members of staff in September 2023.
“For all the things Ascendant did right (paying people well, an entirely remote studio, little overtime until the end, chill environment with lots of freedom to grow, respecting QA, hiring juniors, etc.), it did not work out,” concluded the second source.
In other gaming news, Battlestate Games has decided to deactivate the latest update to Escape From Tarkov as a result of enormous backlash from fans.