Plenty of people called it after last week’s announcement of Square Enix’s multi-game collaboration with Marvel, but it seems this deal combined with underwhelming sales of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided mean that the Deus Ex franchise has been put on ice.
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The news comes via Eurogamer, who claim that after Deus Ex developer Eidos Montrealfinish the next Tomb Raider game, they will be moved on to the secondgame in the Marvel dealafter the Avengers project. This second game will apparently be based on Guardians of the Galaxy. Eurogamer don’t cite a specific source, but credible industry analyst Daniel Ahmad confirms their story.
Eidos Montreal were pretty bullish about the Deus Ex franchise in late 2013. Following the success of prequel/reboot Human Revolution, they announced the Deus Ex: Universe, an “ongoing, expanding and connected” cyberpunk world built across several titles and platforms.
“Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a critical and commercial success, and from this game an amazing franchise has been revived,” said studio head David Anfossi at the time. “We are fully committed to Deus Ex here at Eidos Montreal, we’ve already learnt so much and we have many new ideas for the future that we are actively working to develop.”
The Universe idea would have supposedly delivered “meaningful content” on a “regular basis”, yet five years passed between Human Revolution and Mankind Divided.
A third game was planned to conclude protagonist Adam Jensen’s story and tie up many threads left dangling after Mankind Divided. Eurogamer say that much of that story was actually cut from Mankind Divided, after that game “grew too large in scope and had to be curtailed.”
So it sounds like Eidos Montreal bit off more than they could chew with Deus Ex, and their plans for the franchise got a little out of their control. It’s understandable that a triple-A series based on the Marvel universe has more commercial appeal, but as a fan of Deus Ex, this news is still pretty disappointing.