Half the staff of Ascendant Studios was laid off, according to a new Polygon report. Around 40 (out of an alleged 80-100 people) were reportedly cut from the studio, whose debut title Immortals of Aveum released in late August.
A former worker told the outlet that the cuts were due to the reportedly poor sales of Immortals, which was published by Electronic Arts. The magic shooter has struggled to find an audience in recent weeks, not helped by launching close to big hits like like Baldur's Gate 3 and Sea of Stars.
CEO Bret Robbins later confirmed those layoffs on Twitter, saying "about 45 percent" of staff were let go. The reductions were deemed a "difficult, but necessary" adjustment following Immortals' release.
Immortals of Aveum sales
EA has been quiet on the game's performance, but a separate ex-staffer told Polygon that Immortals of Aveum is one of the worst-selling EA Originals. The game has received a mixed reception overall, and part of its struggle may be to its reportedly high technical requirements for PC.
Earlier this year, the imprint for the publisher took its first foray into releasing bigger triple-A scale games with Koei Tecmo and Omega Force's monster hunting game Wild Hearts. Though EA only published that game, Koei Tecmo made it clear weeks after its release that it's been a good success for the studio.
Speaking to the future of Ascendant, Robbins said the studio will support the continued development of Immortals (both the game and the larger property) with "future updates and offers."