Ascendant Studios reportedly furloughs majority of staff

Ascendant Studios' future remains unclear after a reported staff furlough.
immortals of aveum game key art ascendant studios

Ascendant Studios has reportedly furloughed the majority of its staff, following the commercial failure of its debut game, Immortals of Aveum. While a number of staff were laid off in the aftermath of launch, it appears further changes have now been implemented.

In a furlough, staff maintain their jobs, but are subject to an unpaid pause in work that is usually temporary. The move means that layoffs don’t have to take place, but employees are placed in a precarious position where they earn no income or reduced income over a period of time.

The news of Ascendant Studios’ furloughs was first spotted by Game Developer on LinkedIn. There, Kris Morness of Phoenix Labs reported that the majority of staff at Ascendant Studios had been furloughed, and that it would be “good to get eyes on people there looking for work.” Morness guessed that around 30 people had been impacted.

Read: Immortals of Aveum studio lays off 45% of workforce

Later, Nicole Carpenter of Polygon corroborated reports of the furlough on Twitter / X. Carpenter could not confirm the number of staff impacted, and claimed Ascendant Studios hadn’t responded to multiple requests for comment.

While Ascendant Studios reportedly implementing a mass furlough does not mean the studio’s future is dire, it has inspired much discussion about what’s next. Despite the commercial failure of Immortals of Aveum and subsequent layoffs, studio leaders previously maintained a positivity about Ascendant’s future.

“We’ve poured our passion into Immortals, while wearing our hearts on our sleeves,” CEO Bret Robbins said in September 2023. “The studio will continue to work that way as we support the development of this game our Immortals IP moving forward with future updates and offers.”

At this stage, it’s unclear what those future updates and offers will entail, and whether Ascendant Studios will issue a return to work, post-furlough.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.