Eidos Montreal, the studio behind Thief, which launched last week, has laid off 27 employees. The temptation is to somehow tie this to Thief’s uneven critical reception, but without sales numbers it would just be an assumption. And one without much merit. It’s sadly common for studios to let go of some staff when a project finishes and people are no longer needed. This seems to be the case here.
Square Enix confirmed the unfortunate situation in a statement earlier today.
“Yes it is true we've let 27 people go today, unfortunately it's something that every major studio has to do sometimes in order to ensure you have the right set up for current and future projects,” Square Enix said. “It's never a nice thing to do but we are genuinely trying to offer as much support as much as we can. We're trying to re-locate as many people as possible into other roles here or at our other studios and we've been in touch several studios in Montreal to arrange a career day for those affected by this. We're very thankful for all their hard work and we sincerely wish them well.”
Last year, Eidos Montreal revealed that it would be working on Deus Ex Universe. Rather than an individual game, several titles are planned across an expanding game world. “It’s a commitment on our part to deliver meaningful content that expands the franchise on a regular basis and to deliver a deep conspiracy that will span several connected Deus Ex games, creating a more immersive and richer experience than ever before,” said studio head, David Anfossi.
Square Enix owns a number of subsidiaries and studios including IO Interactive, Eidos Shanghai and Crystal Dynamics. One hopes that the staff from Eidos Montreal will be able to find new homes in these studios or with another Montreal-based developer.