Gamer Developer Ascendant Studios Team Has Less Than 20 Employees On Payroll

Image Source: Ascendant Studios @ YouTube

The game developer Ascendant Studios, known for Immortals of Aveum, has faced layoffs which have left approximately 20 employees remaining on the payroll.

Layoffs have been a significant issue in the gaming industry over the past few years. Sadly, Ascendant Studios is the latest victim of this trend. Currently, the studio is operating with only a small team to ensure its basic functions are maintained.

Ascendant Studios’ Majority of Staff Furloughed

In September 2023, Ascendant Studios let go of more than half of its workforce. Moreover, according to Kris Morness, a former employee, the developer has furloughed additional staff, reducing the working team size once again. Morness estimates that there are around 30 employees affected by this furlough. While being furloughed doesn’t mean termination, it does mean reduced hours and little to no income due to lack of work. Presently, only about 20 employees are receiving payment.

Recently, the studio announced on its official X account (formerly Twitter) that an FSR update for the PC version of Immortals of Aveum was in progress, along with an HDR update for consoles. Since the game’s launch, Ascendant Studios has been grappling with layoffs, primarily due to the game’s poor performance.

During the initial wave of layoffs, Ascendant Studios’ workforce decreased by more than 45%, as mentioned by CEO Bret Robbins. It is suggested by Christoper Tremmel, Creative Director at Rough House Games, in a comment on Morness’ post, that companies sometimes furlough employees to avoid paying severance. If accurate, this is a distressing situation for those impacted at Ascendant.

Ascendant Studios Future Plans

Aside from the Immortals of Aveum update, Ascendant Studios revealed in a video their excitement about an upcoming project. The developer appears to have a new title in the works and is gearing up for development. However, uncertainty looms over the team’s future involvement in the project due to the recent layoffs and furloughs. Furthermore, the PC update for Immortals of Aveum is now being handled by Enduring Games, a co-developer alongside Ascendant for the game.

The news of furloughs and layoffs is always disheartening. Witnessing these challenges faced by developers not just in numbers but also in morale is never easy. This is unfortunately part of the negative effects the gaming industry has experienced post-COVID. For more information on Immortals of Aveum, including its presence in the PS Plus Monthly Games, visit our Guide Hub here.

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