Embracer Group Axes Deus Ex Sequel Amidst Ongoing Crisis

In a surprising turn of events, Embracer Group, formerly known as THQ Nordic, has reportedly cancelled a yet-to-be-announced sequel to the popular Deus Ex franchise. This decision comes in the wake of substantial layoffs at Eidos Montreal, the studio responsible for the development of the game. The last instalment in the Deus Ex series, “Mankind Divided,” was released in 2016, leaving fans eagerly anticipating a follow-up to continue the narrative.

The gaming industry giant, Embracer Group, has been grappling with a significant crisis following the loss of a $2 billion deal. Before this financial setback, the company had aggressively expanded its portfolio by acquiring multiple studios. However, recent challenges compelled the publisher to shut down some of these acquired studios and discontinue various projects in an effort to streamline costs.

According to sources cited by Bloomberg, the cancelled Deus Ex project had spent two years in pre-production and was on the verge of entering full production this year. While details about the sequel’s storyline remain elusive, it was anticipated to pick up from the narrative left open by “Mankind Divided.” Previous rumours suggested a possible shift towards a co-op gaming experience.

Following the revelation of the project’s cancellation, Eidos Montreal confirmed the layoff of 97 employees. The remaining staff members are now slated to embark on the development of a new, original franchise, the details of which are yet to be disclosed.

Embracer Group’s decision to cut ties with the Deus Ex sequel marks the latest in a series of layoffs across its subsidiaries. Last year, the company implemented workforce reductions in studios such as 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks, leading to the closure of Volition Games, known for developing the latest Saints Row instalment.

The trend of layoffs and cancellations seems to persist into 2024, with Embracer Group making headlines for additional cutbacks. Recently, the publisher announced a 50% reduction in staff at Black Forest Games and substantial layoffs at Lost Boys Interactive. Persistent rumours also suggest the imminent closure of Piranha Bytes, the developer behind Elex, though official confirmation is still pending.

As the gaming industry faces challenges at the start of 2024, Embracer Group is not alone in making difficult decisions. Other major players, including Unity, CI Games, Riot Games, and even Microsoft post its Activision Blizzard acquisition, have implemented workforce reductions and project cancellations. Unity has laid off approximately 1,800 employees, CI Games dismissed 10% of its workforce, Riot Games let go of 530 employees, and Microsoft cut 1,900 workers while cancelling Blizzard’s survival game, Odyssey.

The gaming community is left speculating on the broader implications of these industry-wide cutbacks. Industry analysts are closely monitoring the situation, assessing how these decisions might impact the landscape of game development and the future releases of highly anticipated titles.

In conclusion, the cancellation of the Deus Ex sequel and the layoffs at Eidos Montreal underscore the challenges facing Embracer Group and the gaming industry as a whole in the early months of 2024. As the industry navigates these uncertainties, fans and industry stakeholders alike are left to contemplate the potential consequences for the evolving landscape of interactive entertainment.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preecehttps://www.nerdbite.com
Founder | Editor Elliot is a key member of the Nerdbite team, bringing a wealth of experience in journalism and web development. With a passion for technology and being an avid gamer, Elliot seamlessly combines his expertise to lead a team of skilled journalists, creating high-quality content that engages and informs readers. His dedication ensures a smooth website experience, positioning Nerdbite as a leading source of news and insights in the industry. elliot@nerdbite.com

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