Swedish gaming giant Embracer Group is laying off 97 employees at its subsidiary Eidos Montreal and, according to a Bloomberg report, canceling a previously unannounced Deus Ex game, which was two years into development.
Embracer purchased Eidos Montreal, alongside Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, from Square Enix in May 2022. At the time, Embracer reported that Eidos Montreal employed 481 workers globally. If the number of workers at the studio has stayed near that figure, this week’s cuts represent roughly 20% of the company’s staff.
Almost exactly one year after purchasing the two developers, in May 2023, Embracer saw its biggest-ever drop in share price following news that a $2 billion partnership announced with the company’s Q4 2022 results was no longer moving forward. Following the drop, Embracer announced it would undergo a significant restructuring, including including layoffs, studio closures, and interim executive appointments. The nature of the failed partnership and the other party involved were never made public, but reports have indicated it was the main factor leading to the restructuring.
Before this week’s Eidos Montreal layoffs, Embracer Group had previously shut down TimeSplitters developer Free Radical Design and Saints Row developer Deep Silver Volition. There are also numerous rumors that the company is looking to offload Borderlands developer Gearbox.
Other Embracer studios that have suffered layoffs include Hungarian outfits Digic and Zen Studios, Crystal Dynamics, Beamdog, and New World Interactive.
After news of the layoffs went public, Eidos Montreal released a statement which reads:
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. 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.
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.
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.
To our players… it’s oftentimes not just the games but the game makers as well that we all celebrate and admire. Our commitment is always to making the best games for our amazing fans and even with this restructuring change, we continue to fight on to deliver those awesome experiences for us to share together. Thank you for your continuing support and well wishes.
Pictured at top: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided