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Embracer continues its dark side run, cancelling new Deus Ex and laying off almost 100 staff

The embrace of death continues to be a thing, sadly.

Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Image credit: VG247/Eidos Montreal

In what’s already proving to be a pretty depressing year for the games industry, Embracer Group has decided to push itself back into the baddie limelight by cancelling a Deus Ex game and laying off close to 100 people.

Yes, last week it was Microsoft electing to fire an entire town’s worth of people into the sun following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, this week it’s Embracer deciding to cut staff at Eidos Montreal and simultaneously do away with a title it’d spent two years working on. Even if it’d seemingly have been Adam Jensen-less, odds are the Deus Ex title in question would’ve been something at least a little bit fun, too.

Embracer’s move to cancel the game was first reported by Bloomberg, which suggested that it was an unannounced title that was due to enter production later this year, something which obviously won’t be happening now. No other details regarding what the game would’ve been about or involved seem to have been made public as of yet, though voice actor Elias Toufexis has revealed that he hadn’t been brought in to work on it during the time it’d been in development.

“If they had been working on a Deus Ex for two years, and they still hadn’t contacted me, there’s a good chance it wasn’t a Jensen story anyway,” Toufexis, who’s long provided Adam Jensen’s gravelly tones, has tweeted. He also emphasised: “I’m more p**sed for all the people getting laid off.”

The layoffs in question have affected 97 members of staff at Eidos Montreal, the studio that’d been working on this now-canned Deus Ex game. In a statement posted to Twitter, EM cited “the global economic context, the challenges of our industry and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer” as the reasons behind these cuts, which have impacted people across its development, administration, and support services divisions.

Embracer Group has been on a truly repulsive run layoff wise over the past year and a bit, with redundancies at the likes of 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks, and New World Interactive all having followed the outright shuttering of Saints Row developer Volition last summer.

Among the reasons cited for all of these cuts has been that great Embracer restructuring, which followed the collapse of a massive deal between the publisher and the Saudi government-funded Savvy Games Group, alluded to Eidos Montreal’s statement.

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