Embracer Group reportedly cancels unannounced Deus Ex game, lays off staff at Eidos Montreal

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
(Image credit: Square Enix)

What you need to know

  • In 2022, reports indicated that Embracer Group-owned studio Eidos Montreal was looking to bring back the Deus Ex franchise. 
  • Deus Ex is a series of games in a  near-future, alternate-timeline cyberpunk setting, with the last entry in the franchise being 2016's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. 
  • Per a report from Bloomberg, Embracer Group has cancelled the yet-unannounced Deus Ex game. 
  • 97 employees from Eidos Montreal are being laid off as a result of this decision. 

It's another day ending in "y," which means we've got more layoffs in the gaming industry. 

This time it's at Eidos Montreal, the Canadian studio known for its work on numerous games like Deus  Ex: Human Revolution, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. According to Bloomberg, Eidos' parent company Embracer Group cancelled an upcoming, still-unannounced Deus Ex game, resulting in a number of employees being laid off. 

Eidos Montreal later confirmed the layoffs on Twitter, sharing that 97 employees will no longer have jobs at the company. Bloomberg's report notes that instead of Deus Ex, Eidos Montreal will now be focusing on an "original franchise."

Embracer Group acquired Eidos Montreal, Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, and mobile studio Square Enix Montreal in 2022, purchasing the teams and IP from publisher Square Enix. Reports first indicated a new Deus Ex game was in development back in 2022. At the time, Eidos Montreal was reportedly aiming to achieve "what Cyberpunk 2077 couldn't do."

Outside of this other project, Eidos Montreal is reportedly assisting Playground Games with development on the upcoming Xbox and Windows PC RPG Fable

Embracer Group continues melting down

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands beat expectations when it launched in 2022. (Image credit: 2K Games)

These are merely the latest layoffs at Embracer Group, a company that has been closing studios and laying off hundreds of employees following a collapsed $2 billion deal with Saudi-backed Savvy Games Group. Embracer Group has closed numerous teams like Saints Row developer Volition, with layoffs at other studios including Lost Boys Interactive, a team under Gearbox that supported the development of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. 

Analysis: Just pouring salt in the wounds

Embracer Group does not seem long for the world at its current rate, and seems fixated on slashing apart everything it acquired in order to stave off its inevitable demise. I feel for all the developers affected by this, especially since layoffs are still prevalent across the rest of the industry, with Riot Games and Microsoft-owned Activision Blizzard both cutting portions of their development teams in the past week alone, so there are thousands of people who still don't have new jobs. 

If you play a game and enjoy it in the next couple of weeks, try to find someone who worked on it and thank them for their contribution. Developers need support now more than ever. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.