Spending $125 million on Immortals of Aveum was an "awful idea," says former developer
A former developer on Ascendant Studios' shooter Immortals of Aveum has stated that the game cost $125 million USD in total and that it was a "truly awful idea" to make a single-player FPS in the current market.
Speaking with IGN, the anonymous developer revealed that $85 million was spent solely on development, with an additional $40 million going towards marketing. The former employee went on to criticize the studio's poor decisions, such as developing a AAA single-player shooter in a market dominated by live service titles. “Sure, there was some serious talent on the development team, but trying to make a triple-A single-player shooter in today’s market was a truly awful idea, especially since it was a new IP that was also trying to leverage Unreal Engine 5. What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign that was far too long,” the developer said.
Another developer, who still works at Ascendant Studios, stated that while the game appeared to hit the mark in terms of what players said they wanted from a game, it received mediocre reviews and sales from critics and the community. “It’s not a sequel or a remake, it doesn’t take 400 hours to beat, has zero microtransactions, no pointless open world grinding,” the developer explained. “Although not everyone loved it, it reviewed pretty well, currently sitting at a 74 on Open Critic and a Mostly Positive on Steam. No one bought it.”
Immortals of Aveum was released in August 2023, but sales were so low that Ascendant laid off 45% of its workforce just a month later. The studio provided severance packages and other assistance to those affected, with the employee who remained at the developer stating that one thing it had done right was "paying people well, an entirely remote studio, little overtime until the end, chill environment with lots of freedom to grow, respecting QA, hiring juniors, etc."
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