“Immortals of Aveum,” developed by Ascendant Studios, faced significant sales challenges upon its release on August 22, 2023. CEO Bret Robbins attributed the game’s disappointing performance largely to the timing of its launch, which occurred amidst a highly competitive period for video game releases.
Robbins, in an interview with Windows Central, emphasized that the game’s launch coincided with several major titles, such as “Baldur’s Gate 3,” “Armored Core 6,” and the impending release of “Starfield.”
These high-profile releases overshadowed “Immortals of Aveum,” particularly challenging for Ascendant Studios as both a new developer and with a new intellectual property (IP). The crowded market made it exceptionally difficult for the game to gain the necessary visibility and awareness among potential players.
Consequences and Studio Layoffs
The poor sales of “Immortals of Aveum” led to significant financial repercussions for Ascendant Studios, resulting in the layoff of 45% of its staff. Robbins described this decision as unavoidable, given the studio’s reliance on game sales for its revenue. The layoffs reflect the harsh realities of the gaming industry, where commercial success is crucial for sustainability, especially for newer studios.
In response to these challenges, Ascendant Studios is exploring opportunities to include “Immortals of Aveum” in popular subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. Discussions with both companies are ongoing, and while no specific date has been set, Robbins expressed optimism about the game’s inclusion in these platforms.
Additionally, in an effort to boost the game’s visibility and appeal, Ascendant Studios released a demo featuring the first three chapters of “Immortals of Aveum.” This move allows players to experience a portion of the game, potentially attracting a wider audience and providing an opportunity for the game to be reassessed beyond the crowded launch period.
Reception and Critical Review
Chris Tapsell, in his review, gave “Immortals of Aveum” a modest two out of five stars, critiquing it for recycling ideas despite an attempt at innovation. This mixed critical reception raises the question of whether the game’s struggles were solely due to the timing of its release or also related to its quality and gameplay experience.
“Immortals of Aveum’s” journey post-launch highlights the complexities of releasing new games in a highly saturated market. The combination of competitive release timing, studio layoffs, and the pursuit of new distribution avenues through subscription services paints a picture of a studio navigating the challenging terrain of the gaming industry.