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Embracer Group Halts Production on Deus Ex Game and Enacts Structural Changes at Eidos Montreal

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Embracer Group AB, the parent company of Eidos Montreal, has reportedly put the brakes on the development of a highly anticipated Deus Ex video game, and made the difficult decision to lay off nearly 100 employees at the renowned Canadian studio.

Deus Ex Game Cancellation and Studio Layoffs

The unannounced third installment in the iconic Deus Ex series, which has been in the works at Eidos Montreal for over two years, was abruptly canceled, signaling a significant shift in the studioโ€™s creative direction. According to reports by Bloomberg, the development team will now be redirecting its efforts toward the creation of a new and original intellectual property.

This development arrives amidst a larger restructuring initiative at Embracer Group. In an unexpected move, Eidos Montreal confirmed the termination of 97 members of its workforce, spanning various departments such as development, administration, and support services, attributing the decisions to the prevailing global economic climate, industry challenges, and Embracerโ€™s broader corporate restructuring.

Embracerโ€™s Comprehensive Restructuring

Embracer Groupโ€™s recent business maneuvers indicate a significant departure from its previous growth trajectory. The company, which is weathering the fallout from the foiled $2 billion partnership deal with Savvy Games Group, has been undertaking a series of studio closures and staff layoffs in response to broader market conditions.

The fallout has had a ripple effect on various Embracer-owned development houses, including Volition, the studio behind the popular franchise Saints Row, and Free Radical Design, recognized for creating the acclaimed series Timesplitters. Additionally, there are rumors surrounding the potential closure of Elex developer Piranha Bytes, compounding the challenges faced by Embracer as it seeks a partner for the studioโ€™s upcoming projects.

Acquisition of Eidos Montreal

Notably, Embracer Group completed the acquisition of Eidos Montreal from Square Enix Holdings Co. in 2022, thus inheriting a portfolio that includes revered franchises like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex. The decision to shelve the development of the latest Deus Ex installment represents a strategic pivot for the company, signaling a shift away from established intellectual properties toward the cultivation of new and original gaming experiences.

Commenting on this period of transition, an Embracer Group spokesperson, in conversation with IGN, underscored the companyโ€™s commitment to managing the restructuring in a local and employee-centric manner. This approach, which is an integral part of Embracerโ€™s strategy for the fiscal year 2023-2024, aims to prioritize open communication and support for affected personnel across its operational groups.

Embracer Group has not provided an official statement regarding the discontinuation of the Deus Ex project, opting to maintain a unified approach to communication from a corporate standpoint. This disposition reflects the companyโ€™s broader approach to corporate communication during this challenging phase.

The decision to halt production on the Deus Ex game, coupled with the operational changes at Eidos Montreal, underscores Embracer Groupโ€™s evolving ethos as it navigates an industry in flux, marked by significant macroeconomic shifts and realignment of strategic priorities.

As Embracer Group continues to adapt to the evolving landscape of the gaming industry, the companyโ€™s resilience and adaptability will be critical in shaping its future trajectory, which remains subject to ongoing market dynamics and competitive forces.

Credit:Image credits:ย Sergei Elaginย on Shutterstock.

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