Many players hoped that Eidos Montreal would get a chance to make a new Deus Ex game after joining Embracer Group. However, the Swedish holding company not only canceled the project, but also laid off a number of the studio’s employees.

New Deus Ex game cancelled as part of Embracer Group's restructuring, Eidos Montreal suffers massive layoffs

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier first reported the news about the job cuts at Eidos Montreal, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Below are the key takeaways:

  • The unannounced Deus Ex game was in development for two years and was expected to enter full production later this year;
  • Eidos Montreal will instead focus on another project based on a new original franchise;
  • As part of Embracer Group’s ongoing restructuring, 97 Eidos employees across development teams, administration, and support services were laid off;
  • “We have created memorable multi awarded experiences that we are proud of and we know our teams members have put their heart and soul in all of them,” Eidos said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). “The global economic context, the challenges of our industry and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio.”

Embracer acquired Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics for €300 million in 2022. The Swedish holding company also obtained the rights for brands like Deux Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief, and Legacy of Kain from Square Enix.

In June 2023, Embracer Group announced a cost-cutting restructuring program, which has already resulted in the closures of Campfire Cabal, Volition, and Free Radical Design, as well as job cuts at many of its subsidiaries such as Gearbox Publishing, Crystal Dynamics, Rainbow StudiosBeamdog, Digic Pictures, Zen Studios, Cryptic Studios, and Fishlabs.

Last November, Embracer announced that it had laid off 904 employees (5% of its workforce). The restructuring, which is aimed at reducing the company’s net debt to at least SEK 8 billion ($763 million), is expected to be completed by March 31, 2024. So more layoffs, divestments, and studio closures could come in the next few months.

2023 was a terrible year for games industry workers, with over 10k people losing their jobs across many large corporations and small studios. This year, unfortunately, could be even worse, as roughly 5,700 roles were eliminated in January alone (via the Games Industry Layoffs project) across companies like Unity, Activision Blizzard, People Can Fly, Riot Games, Piranha Bytes, and more.

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