With its promise of a cinematic, single player magic FPS experience, Immortals of Aveum generated a fair bit of buzz in the lead-up to its release earlier this year, though the game failed to perform the way developer Ascendant Studios would have hoped it would. In addition to mixed reception from critics, it also failed to sell well, leading to the studio laying off nearly half of its staff.
Speaking in a recent interview with Windows Central, Ascendant Studios CEO Bret Robbins touched on Immortals of Aveum’s commercial failure, and said that he felt the packed release schedule that characterized virtually all of 2023 and many others contributed to the game’s lower sales.
“100%,” Robbins said when asked if he felt the game’s commercial performance was impacted by the year’s packed schedule. “We were not in a position where we could delay or push out of our launch window. You set those windows quite a bit ahead of time because you’re spending marketing dollars, you have commitments to a particular date.”
Looking at the games we’ve seen coming out over the last several months, it’s hard to argue with Robbins’ point. In 2023, we’ve seen more major releases than we have in most years in recent memory, including the likes of Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2, Resident Evil 4, Starfield, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Resident Evil 4, Street Fighter 6, Diablo 4, and Dead Space, among many, many others.
Robbins added: “I’ve never seen a year like this. It’s always hard to break through the noise when you’re a new IP or a studio people haven’t heard of before. Trying to create awareness for us was really, really difficult. It’s always hard for a new IP and this year made it 10 times harder.”
Touching on the aforementioned layoffs at Ascendant Studios, Robbins said, “The layoffs really sucked. There’s no two ways around that. We are not a big corporation. Our business relies on selling games, and we didn’t sell enough games. And that forced me to make that decision, which, it was really unfortunate. These are people I worked closely with, people that put their heart and soul into the game. You never, ever want to have to do that.”
Ascendant Studios and publisher EA will be hoping that Immortals of Aveum is able to attract more new players following the recent launch of a major free update, which added New Game Plus, new endgame content, and more. Meanwhile, Robbins has also said that the studio is in talks with Sony and Microsoft to bring the game to PlayStation Plus and Game Pass respectively.
Immortals of Aveum is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Read our review of the game through here.