Report: Embracer’s ongoing layoffs kill a new Deus Ex game after 2 years’ work


Enlarge / Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, taking in the news that no last-minute contrivance is going to save his series from what seemed like inevitable doom. (Pun credit to Andrew Cunningham).

Eidos Interactive

Embracer Group, the Swedish firm that bought up a number of known talents and gaming properties during the pandemic years, has canceled a Deus Ex game at its Eidos studio in Montreal, Canada, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.

The game, while not officially announced, has been known about since May 2022. It was due to enter production later in 2024 and had seen two years of pre-production development, according to Schreier’s sources. Many employees will be laid off as part of the cancellation.

Embracer Group acquired Eidos Montreal, along with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal, for $300 million in mid-2022, buying up all of Japanese game publisher Square Enix’s Western game studios. That gave Embracer the keys to several influential and popular series, including Tomb RaiderJust CauseLife Is Strange, and Deus Ex.

Eidos published the first Deus Ex from developer Ion Storm, founded by id Software’s John Romero and Tom Hall. Gaming legend Warren Spector oversaw the development of the original Deus Ex, merging shooters, stealth, and open-world RPG game mechanics in a way that, for the year 2000, was wholly original. The game is often cited as one of the best PC games of all time and a progenitor of many immersive sims and RPG-inflected shooters to come.

Eidos Interactive was acquired in 2009 by Square Enix and became the primary developer of the Deus Ex series, starting with Deus Ex: Human Revolution in 2011. The last full-fledged title in the series was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in 2016. Despite selling more than 14 million units across the series’ lifetime, and the perennial hunger by fans and critics to see a return to the series’ novel storytelling and sharp critique of mega-corp control, the reset button has been hit by a rather large corporation.

Another of Embracer Group’s notable acquisitions, the 2021 purchase of large independent developer Gearbox, looks to be unwinding, as well. Bloomberg’s Schreier reported in September 2023 that Embracer was looking to sell Gearbox after less than three years’ ownership. One month before that, Embracer Group shut down Volition, developer of Saints Row and Descent, after that studio’s 30th year of operation.

Ars has reached out to Embracer Group for comment and will update this post with any new information.

Most of the primary Deus Ex titles are on sale at the moment, at GOG and on Steam, for less than $5.

Listing image by Eidos Interactive



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