“What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign…”: Former EA and Ascendant Studios Dev Lays it all on the Line About Immortals of Aveum’s Failure to Launch

No amount of magic could change the numbers.

“What ended up launching was a bloated, repetitive campaign…": Former EA and Ascendant Studio Dev Lays it all on the Line About Immortals of Aveum's Failure to Launch

SUMMARY

  • Immortals of Aveum has experimented with multiple genres in hopes of creating a unique experience, but didn't live up to expectations.
  • The studio's CEO expressed his disbelief with how things turned out, and why nothing felt right about the game's launch timing.
  • The game's reviews tell a mixed story; between great gameplay and lacklustre story, the title could have been much more.
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Call of Duty with magic may be the right kinda of experiment gamers want to try out, and Immortals of Aveum tried to do exactly that. Even with the positive reviews and players enjoying the game (until they didn’t), the project showed promise.

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Unfortunately, Ascendant Studio’s CEO expresses their disappointment with how the game eventually turned out to be. It wasn’t the creative talent behind it, but how the title performed purely from a market standpoint. It also gave the studio a hard look at what kind of projects may just not work in modern-day gaming.

Out of the $85 million budget, $40 million went into marketing/distribution

Immortals of Aveum game
Magic, fast-paced gameplay, and a ‘meh‘ story didn’t really take the game anywhere.

The studio’s CEO, Bret Robbins, had something to say in an interview that painted a better picture of how the studio felt about Immortals of Aveum. He expressed how the budget was divided between development and marketing, but the game’s reception eventually became a mirror of reality where Ascendant Studio may have misjudged how the game would really perform.

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Even though everything about the title looks and feels appealing, there are many pain points that fail to deliver the quality that would boost sales. Worse, the involvement of EA would give gamers an idea that marketing would flawlessly deliver hype… but it just couldn’t.

Bret also spoke about how the timing and concept for the project just weren’t in place, considering how the market is already saturated with first-person shooters trying to tell a unique story.

Immortals of Aveum may be good, but not great enough for players

immortals of aveum game
The studio’s disappointment over the title’s reception seems well-placed.

It’s a little troublesome to digest the fact that Immortals of Aveum’s Steam page is full of reviews that are trying to be positive but end up pointing out some key problems. One of the key issues lies in the narrative pacing of the game, something which is essential to great single-player experiences.

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On the surface, the title may feel like a passion project that experiments with some key sub-genres in the gaming industry. However, Bret’s thoughts on the timing of it may make more sense. This project was essentially around a time when lay-offs were on the rise and the industry as a whole felt confused about new titles and creative practitioners behind them.

Ascendant Studio was no different. There’s no clear official roadmap as to what the studio wishes to do with the next game, but it seems that Immortals of Aveum has enough lessons to carry the team’s creative vision to a place they belong. How do you feel about the game’s reception? Do you think something should have been different? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Tanay Sharma

Articles Published: 419

Tanay wears more hats than Red Dead Redemption 2 characters. He's a musician, writer, voice-over artist and adores interactive media. His favourite games are the ones with memorable stories and characters. He's pursuing a master's degree in Behavioural Sciences. No, he won't read your mind.