Immortals of Aveum Realms: Ascendant Studios CEO Unveils the Odyssey

CEO Bret Robbins on Immortals of Aveum's journey, challenges, and future plans. Insights into gaming's dynamics.

Ascendant Studios CEO Bret Robbins reflects on the challenges and triumphs of Immortals of Aveum's launch, staff layoffs, and future plans in this exclusive interview. Dive into the dynamics of the gaming industry and the potential collaboration with Xbox Game Pass, offering a glimpse into the studio's resilience and growth.

In the fast-paced universe of gaming, Ascendant Studios embarked on a monumental journey with the launch of Immortals of Aveum. A creation brimming with magical first-person combat, this Unreal Engine 5-powered venture faced its share of challenges in a gaming landscape dominated by heavyweights. In an exclusive interview with Ascendant Studios CEO, Bret Robbins, we unravel the tapestry of Immortals of Aveum, exploring its launch, the poignant staff layoffs, and the tantalizing glimpse into the studio’s future, including potential collaboration with Xbox Game Pass.

Immortals of Aveum’s Launch Struggles

The inception of Immortals of Aveum, though met with enthusiasm, encountered turbulent waters upon release. Robbins attributes part of its initial struggles to the densely populated release schedule of 2023. With juggernauts like Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon and the unforeseen success of Baldur’s Gate 3, the game faced an uphill battle for recognition. Robbins sheds light on the intricacies of setting launch windows, detailing the challenge of garnering attention amid the clamor of established franchises and unexpected hits.

The Immortals of Aveum review underscored the game’s imperfections, acknowledging the richness of its spellcasting systems but recognizing room for improvement. Robbins reflects on the difficulty of breaking through the noise as a new IP, exacerbated by the unprecedented success of Baldur’s Gate 3 just before Aveum’s launch. The CEO paints a vivid picture of the gaming landscape, where established names cast long shadows, making it an arduous task for a newcomer to bask in the spotlight.

Layoffs and Tough Decisions

Post-launch, Ascendant Studios faced the grim reality of layoffs, affecting nearly half of the dedicated team. Robbins, in a candid revelation, addresses the emotional toll of such decisions. He speaks of Ascendant Studios as a tight-knit community, where each member poured heart and soul into Immortals of Aveum. The layoffs, Robbins admits, were a consequence of the game’s sales performance, a stark reminder of the industry’s unforgiving nature.

However, in the face of adversity, Robbins maintains a hopeful outlook. He shares the silver lining, expressing joy that some team members have already found new opportunities. The CEO envisions a future where Ascendant Studios, as it grows, may collaborate once again with those who contributed to Aveum’s creation. The juxtaposition of hardship and optimism becomes a poignant theme in the narrative of Ascendant Studios.

Subscription Services and Immortals of Aveum

The conversation pivots to the prospect of Immortals of Aveum joining subscription services, particularly Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. Robbins acknowledges the potential advantages, emphasizing the broader reach and increased engagement that these platforms can provide. While a concrete date for inclusion remains elusive, Robbins is optimistic about Immortals of Aveum becoming part of these esteemed services.

In reflecting on whether such a move could have altered the game’s fate at launch, Robbins remains candid. The complexities of the decision-making process, coupled with the reliance on partners like EA for negotiations, add layers to the narrative. The CEO grapples with the uncertainty of whether a subscription service launch could have been a game-changer or if the team’s reliance on EA was a double-edged sword.

Lessons Learned and Future Plans

Delving into the lessons learned from the Immortals of Aveum journey, Robbins imparts invaluable insights. He underscores the pivotal role of technology and strategic hires, emphasizing the importance of building from the ground up when venturing into uncharted territory. Robbins reflects on his past experiences working on big teams with established franchises like Call of Duty, highlighting the shift in mindset required when creating a new game with a fresh team and cutting-edge technology.

While acknowledging the swift and efficient movement of Ascendant Studios, Robbins hints at areas for improvement. He encourages a laser-focus on technology and key hires at critical junctures, recognizing that assumptions made in the realm of established franchises may not hold true when pioneering something new. The CEO’s reflections offer a glimpse into the iterative nature of game development, where each project is an opportunity for growth and refinement.

Teasing the Future

The interview concludes with a tantalizing revelation from Robbins about Ascendant Studios’ ongoing project. While careful not to divulge too much, he sparks excitement about what the future holds for the studio. The prospect of a new project, teased with words like “very excited,” adds an air of anticipation. Robbins leaves the audience on the edge of their seats, eager for future announcements that promise to unveil the next chapter in Ascendant Studios’ creative journey.


The interview with Ascendant Studios CEO Bret Robbins serves as a compelling narrative, weaving through the challenges and triumphs of Immortals of Aveum. From the crowded gaming landscape to the emotional toll of layoffs, Robbins’ candid reflections paint a vivid picture of the gaming industry’s dynamism. The potential collaboration with Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, coupled with hints of a new project, instills a sense of optimism for Ascendant Studios’ future endeavors. Immortals of Aveum becomes not just a game but a testament to resilience and growth in the ever-evolving world of game development.

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