One week after saying it was 'hard at work on our next project,' Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios has reportedly furloughed most of its remaining staff

immortals of aveum
(Image credit: EA)

Six months after laying off nearly half its staff following the poorly-received launch of Immortals of Aveum, developer Ascendant Studios has reportedly now furloughed the majority of its remaining employees.

Word of the new troubles at Ascendant came by way of a LinkedIn post (via Eurogamer) from former employee Kris Morness, who said "the majority of their staff"—he estimated around 30 in total—had been placed on furlough. That means impacted employees will maintain their jobs, but will have reduced or no hours—and thus, reduced or no income—due to a lack of work. As they're not being let go, they're also not eligible for severance pay, although their benefits packages will presumably be maintained. Ascendant has not yet commented on the report but Polygon senior reporter Nicole Carpenter said Morness' statement "lines up" with her own information about the studio.

Ascendant Studios laid off roughly 45% of its employees in September 2023, just a month after the launch of Immortals of Aveum. We liked it well enough as a fun, if not exactly innovative, shooter, but it failed to catch on with players: SteamDB says its peak concurrent player count on Steam is just 751, a figure that quickly tailed off into double digits. The number of employees let go was estimated at the time to be around 40, although Morness said on LinkedIn that it was actually 50.

The reported furlough comes just a week after Ascendant released an update adding HDR support to the console versions of Immortals of Aveum, and said that HDR and FSR 3 support are coming to the PC version of the game in the future. The update announcement also says Ascendant is "hard at work on our next project."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.