GameBaba Universe

Another week another layoff news. This time Embracer’s restructuring hammer has fallen on Eidos Montreal. The studio announced layoffs on Monday, January 29, 2024, through a tweet. At least 97 people were impacted by the layoff across support services, administration, and development teams. Also, an unannounced Deus Ex title was canceled.

Embracer Strikes Again At Eidos Montreal, 97 People Laid Off, Unannounced Deus Ex Game Canceled

“For the last 17 years, our teams at Eidos have worked on some of the most beloved brands in the industry, combining deep storytelling and innovation into unique games,” read the statement shared by Eidos Montreal. “We have created memorable multi-awarded experiences that we are proud of and we know our team members have put their heart and soul in all of them.”

“The global economic context, the challenges of our industry, and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio. The difficult decision has been made to let go 97 people from development teams, administration, and support services.”

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Embracer at one point went on a spending spree and acquired a plethora of studios. However, after a $2 billion Saudi deal fell through last year, the Swiss group was forced to restructure in an attempt to lower its debt profile.

“We are working to support all impacted personnel through this transition. These very talented, highly experienced people are entering the employment market, and we want them to find their next projects and are helping to do so.”

The statement continued: “As we navigate these difficult times, the well-being of our team is our priority and the continuous commitment to creating games that players will be able to enjoy in the nearby future.”

Embracer Strikes Again At Eidos Montreal, 97 People Laid Off, Unannounced Deus Ex Game Canceled

Embracer’s restructuring that began in June last year has led to the layoff of over 1,000 people from various studios owned by the group. Saints Row maker Volition Games and turn-based RPG maker Campfire Cabal were not so lucky as they were forced to shut down last year. Free Radical Designs, the developer of TimeSplitters suffered the same fate late last year.

Embracer has put up Gearbox, Borderlands maker, up for sale. Earlier this month, layoffs were also announced at Lost Boys Interactive, a Gearbox support studio.

Eidos Montreal layoffs have put Embracer in the spotlight again

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Embracer has been criticized severally for its bad management and the culture of buying studios just to close them after a few years. The sentiments heightened last year after the Swiss Group announced several layoffs and studio closures. That sentiment has resurfaced again with the layoff announcement at Eidos Montreal.

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“Don’t stay under Embracer and take your independence back,” wrote an Xbox fan with the handle @astaranx.

“Embracer is killing anything it touches and it’s sad,” wrote another content creator with the handle @MJ_Hernandez.

Eidos Montreal which was previously a property of Square Enix was acquired by Embracer in 2022. Around that time, they also acquired Crystal Dynamics, the Tomb Raider developer. Eidos Montreal announced later that year that a new Deus Ex was in early development.

Embracer Strikes Again At Eidos Montreal, 97 People Laid Off, Unannounced Deus Ex Game Canceled

The first installment in that franchise, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released in 2011. According to Bloomberg, in addition to the layoff, Embracer has now canceled the unannounced Deus Ex game which has been in development for two years.

Eidos Montreal was also behind other great titles including Deus Ex: Mankind Divided released in 2016 and Guardians of the Galaxy released in 2021.

Former Eidos Montreal staff pour out emotions on social media

Some of those impacted by the layoff at Eidos Montreal have publicly made posts about the layoffs. Most of the posts that GameBaba Universe saw also used the opportunity to solicit the support of their networks in landing new roles. GameBaba Universe included links to the profiles of the former employees mentioned in this post so that it will be easy for those with open roles to reach out to them.

Embracer Strikes Again At Eidos Montreal, 97 People Laid Off, Unannounced Deus Ex Game Canceled

“My heart goes out to everyone affected by the recent layoffs at Eidos-Montreal,” wrote Arno Vandern Branden, technical designer at Eidos Montreal. “I didn’t know half of you half as well as I should like. As one of the 97 affected, I’ll be looking for new game dev opportunities. I’m excited about the prospect of taking on a new challenge and finding a team worth doing it with.”

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Although sad about the layoffs, Agathe Jarnoux, a former community manager at Eidos Montreal, said she was “extremely lucky to work with such an amazing team for the past 3 years”.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been impacted by the layoffs at Eidos-Montréal,” wrote Arnaud Vezina who worked as a brand marketing coordinator at Eidos Montreal. “I’m genuinely grateful to have worked with such an outstanding team for over 3 years, it was truly a pleasure.”

Around 10,000 jobs were lost in the game industry last year. January has barely ended and we have lost over 6,000 jobs this year. At this rate, the layoffs in the game industry will likely reach a new height this year.

Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.


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