Eidos-Montreal Faces Layoffs and Deus Ex Game Cancellation Amid Industry Challenges

Eidos-Montreal, the renowned developer behind Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, is navigating challenging times as it confirms the layoff of 97 employees and reportedly cancels an unannounced Deus Ex game. The announcement follows a Bloomberg report on the cancelled project, which had been developing for two years.

Industry Challenges and Global Economic Context:
In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Eidos-Montreal attributed the layoffs to the "global economic context, the challenges of our industry," and the broader restructuring efforts within parent company Embracer. The difficult decision affects individuals across development teams, administration, and support services.

Shift in Focus and Canceled Deus Ex Game:
While not directly addressing the reported cancellation of the Deus Ex game, Eidos-Montreal confirmed a shift in focus, with reports suggesting the studio will now concentrate on creating an original franchise. The cancellation comes as a surprising turn for fans who anticipated the continuation of the beloved Deus Ex series. The cancelled game was reportedly in development for two years before facing termination.

Embracer's Impact on Eidos-Montreal:
Embracer Group's acquisition of Eidos-Montreal from Square Enix in 2022 marked a significant change for the studio. The $300 million deal granted Embracer rights to major franchises like Tomb Raider, Thief, and Deus Ex. However, Embracer has faced challenges, with recent aggressive expansion efforts leading to studio closures and game cancellations.

Embracer's Downward Spiral:
Embracer's aggressive expansion strategy, including acquisitions of Gearbox, 3D Realms, and The Lord of the Rings rights, has taken a toll on the company. The downturn began in June 2023 when Embracer announced studio closures and game cancellations, exacerbated by a failed $2 billion deal with Saudi Arabian investment fund Savvy Games. The fallout has resulted in hundreds of layoffs, including the closure of Volition, the studio behind Saints Row.

Industry-Wide Challenges in 2024:
The video game industry has faced considerable workforce challenges, with over 10,000 layoffs in 2022 and 2023. Unfortunately, 2024 appears to be on track to surpass those figures, with more than 6,000 game industry workers laid off in January alone. The persistent turbulence in the industry reflects broader economic uncertainties and the consequences of ambitious expansion plans.

Eidos-Montreal's decision to lay off employees and cancel an anticipated Deus Ex game underscores the complex landscape facing developers in the ever-evolving video game industry. As the studio navigates challenges alongside Embracer's broader restructuring, the fate of the Deus Ex series and the affected employees remains a focal point for industry observers, highlighting the delicate balance between creative aspirations and the economic realities shaping the gaming landscape.