Eidos Montreal has let go of a significant number of development staff just one week after shipping its stealth action reboot Thief.
Thief was met with mixed reviews when it arrived last week. The studio’s parent company Square Enix today confirmed to Kotaku that more than 20 staff have been made redundant.
“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,” a Square Enix spokesperson 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 [with] 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."
Thief lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt told Develop about some of challenges that he and the studio faced in rebooting the series for the new generation. Among them was engine selection and the personnel to support it.
“We announced the project a long time ago to make sure we were hiring the best people, so we had to think about what they were trained in using. We had to also think about what the engine could offer us, and what support there was for the engine itself,” he said.
Eidos Montreal opened in 2007 and its first project was to revive the sci-fi RPG series Deus Ex, a task which it achieved successfully with 2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Thief was planned to be another revitalisation of a recognised yet latent IP. However, the title appeared to have a rocky development cycle, with key talent departing the studio in 2012, followed by the resignation of original Eidos Montreal GM Stephane D’Astous in 2013 over “irreconcilable differences”.