After warning of impending game cancellations and layoffs, Embracer Group is reportedly now following through once again with an additional round of cuts. Bloomberg reports that Embracer has elected to cancel an upcoming Deus Ex game from Eidos Montreal.
The report added that a “a number of employees” are being laid off as part of the previously announced cost-cutting measures.
Bloomberg said the unannounced Deus Ex game was due to enter production this year, but there are no further details available about the rumored game. Instead, the report said Eidos will work on an “original franchise.”
Eidos Montreal confirmed the cuts in a social media post, saying it is cutting 97 people from a variety of disciplines. The company cited, among other things, the “global economic context,” as well as general video game industry conditions, and Embracer’s previously announced restructuring plan.
Embracer acquired the Deus Ex franchise in 2022 from Square Enix in a $300 million deal that also saw Embracer get the gaming rights to Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain.
2016’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the latest entry in the main series. Elias Toufexis, who voiced main character Adam Jensen, reacted to the report on social media, saying, “I told you guys it wasn’t happening.”
If they had been working on a #DeusEx for two years, and they still hadn’t contacted me, there’s a good chance it wasn’t a Jensen story anyway.
I’m more pissed for all the people getting laid off. This industry is fucked with this stuff.
— ᴇʟɪᴀꜱ ᴛᴏᴜꜰᴇxɪꜱ 🖖 (@EliasToufexis) January 29, 2024
Embracer announced plans to cancel games, lay off staff, and close studios in June 2023 in the wake of losing a $2 billion deal at the 11th hour. Embracer said it only had a verbal agreement for this deal, which was later revealed to be from Saudi Arabia. Embracer previously took $1 billion from Saudi Arabia and defended that decision when people criticized Saudi Arabia’s position on human rights.
Embracer’s cuts so far have included the closure of Saints Row studio Volition and the impending shutdown of TimeSplitters developer Free Radical. Embracer has also cut jobs at subsidiaries like Crystal Dynamics, Gearbox, and Beamdog, among others.
The video game industry layoffs are not limited to Embracer and its studios, as Microsoft just cut 1,900 positions from its gaming team and League of Legends developer Riot also cut hundreds of positions.