Immortals of Aveum cost $125 million and is a “really terrible idea”

A former employee of Ascendant Studios, which released its first game, Immortals of Aveum, in the summer of 2023, told IGN that the total budget of the project was about $125 million and that it was a “terrible idea.”

“At a high level, Immortals was massively overscoped for a studio’s debut project. 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,” one former employee said.

Ascendant Studios consisted of Sledgehammer Games veterans who had experience working on big shooters like Call of Duty. Immortals of Aveum is a kind of Call of Duty, but with magic, which, although it received positive feedback from players, failed financially, leading to the layoff of half of the studio’s staff.

Another employee, commenting on the layoffs of half of Ascendant Studios’ employees, said that while it was true that unions and reduced executive bonuses would have helped more people keep their jobs, it would not have helped Immortals of Aveum sell better.

“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. 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,” he added.