Embracer Group, the company attempting to forge one video game publisher to rule them all, has just presided over another round of layoffs. Eidos Montreal is letting go of 97 game developers and support staff, the company announced today on X, shortly after Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier scooped that the studio has canceled an unannounced Deus Ex video game.
“The global economic context, the challenges of our industry and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio,” wrote Eidos Montreal. Eidos doesn’t mention the canceled game.
Embracer snapped up both Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics from Square Enix in May 2022, putting the studios behind Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Thief under one umbrella. That November, Schreier tweeted that a new Deus Ex was now “very very early” in development, and it appears that’s the game now canceled.
It’s been eight years since Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ended on a largely unsatisfying cliffhanger, and it doesn’t sound like we’re going to get a resolution anytime soon. Sources told Schreier in 2017 that an earlier Mankind Divided sequel had been canceled, too. What’s more, Embracer decided to erase the mobile game Deus Ex Go from existence, ripping it away from people who’d already paid, though I hear it may still be playable if you have it downloaded.
The 97 laid-off employees are facing a rather more troubling cliffhanger, though.
Since Embracer’s 2022 buying spree, it has also shut down TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design, closed Saints Row developer Volition, and has reportedly been looking to sell Borderlands maker Gearbox. It laid off over 900 employees, 5 percent of its workforce, in Q2 of last year alone, including layoffs at Crystal Dynamics and Beamdog, but not including last month’s layoffs at New World Interactive.