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Deus Ex game canceled as nearly 100 Eidos-Montreal staff laid off

The unannounced Deus Ex game had been in development for two years, but is now canceled

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s hero stands in front of lights, looking like an angel Image: Eidos Montreal/Square Enix
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos-Montreal is laying off 97 people and reportedly canceling an unannounced Deus Ex game. Eidos-Montreal confirmed the layoffs on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday following a Bloomberg report about the canceled game, reportedly in development for two years.

“The global economic context, the challenges of our industry and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio,” Eidos-Montreal said on X. “The difficult decision has been made to let go 97 people from development teams, administration, and support services.”

Reached for comment, an Eidos-Montreal representative pointed Polygon toward the X post, but did not comment on the reportedly canceled Deus Ex game. Bloomberg reported Eidos-Montreal will instead focus on “an original franchise.” Eidos-Montreal was originally a Square Enix studio — until that company sold off Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group in 2022. The $300 million deal gave Embracer rights to Tomb Raider, Thief, and Deus Ex, as well as ownership of more than 50 Square Enix games. Square Enix Montreal was briefly rebranded before being shut down in 2022.

Eidos-Montreal's last game is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Its last mainline Deus Ex game was published in 2016: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The studio had reportedly been working on the next game for the previous two years, according to Bloomberg.

Embracer has been in a downward spiral after engaging in aggressive expansion over the past few years: It acquired Borderlands developer Gearbox, 3D Realms, and the rights to The Lord of the Rings in 2021 and 2022 alone. The big cracks started to show in June 2023 when Embracer announced it was closing multiple studios and canceling several games, just weeks after the company announced a botched $2 billion deal with Saudi Arabian investment fund Savvy Games. Hundreds of people have since been laid off from Embracer studios, including the entirety of staff at the now-shuttered Saints Row developer Volition.

2022 and 2023 were devastating years for video game industry workers, with more than 10,000 people laid off, per industry trackers. But 2024 is, unfortunately, gunning for the next record — January isn’t even over yet, and more than 6,000 games workers have been laid off already.

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