Ascendant Studios just cut close to half of their staff within a month of release of their debut title Immortals of Aveum. You’ve shared before that devs will have down time between pre release to post release if new projects isn’t in full production. Is this timeline normal or what else can you infer from the cuts?

Usually when a game launches, we know really quickly whether the actual sales are trending at, above, or below the expected numbers and roughly by how far off we are. After the first few days, we can extrapolate the estimated sales trajectory the game will have. If a game meets or goes above expectations, everything is great. If the game fails to hit expectations, the real question is "by how much?" - a small shortfall is surmountable, but a large shortfall basically spells doom for a lot of studios. The worse the numbers are, the faster the company moves to secure its survival - mass layoffs can come just days or weeks after the game's launch. When you've got hundreds of employees each costing thousands of dollars per month, you're looking at literal millions of dollars being spent on salaries per month alone. Even large famous publisher-owned studios are typically only 2-3 bad flops away from closure.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that Immortals of Aveum didn't hit anywhere close to the sales numbers they needed/expected to hit with the game launch. The new sales forecast, given the initial numbers and expected falloff over time as we head into the holiday season, means that thoughts of a sequel and/or ongoing content updates no longer make financial sense. This, in turn, means that they cannot afford to keep paying all of the developers on the team and still keep the company afloat. Faced with the possibility of the entire studio closing down, they made the horrible choice to lay off half of the studio in hopes that the remaining staff will be able to get them to sustainability. The future plans for Aveum were scrapped and they're likely scrambling to figure out how to keep the lights on at Ascendant Studios altogether.

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