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Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield buried us, Immortals of Aveum dev says

Immortals of Aveum may have been better received if it wasn’t drowned out by Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3, according to the studio’s founder.

Immortals of Aveum Baldur's Gate 3 Starfield success: An image of a sorcerer from Immortals of Aveum.

Immortals of Aveum didn’t exactly leave players spellbound last year, despite its ambitious world building and magical FPS mechanics. However, that may have been different if juggernaut titles like Xbox exclusive Starfield or RPG sensation Baldur’s Gate 3 weren’t looming over it. That’s according to Ascendant Studios founder Bret Robbins, who has been reflecting on why the developer’s big-budget debut game failed to make waves.

There’s an intriguing experience locked away in Immortals of Aveum. While it isn’t exactly one of the best FPS games around, its sheer commitment to a wholly original world with rich lore is commendable. In a new interview with GI.Biz, Robbins expresses that “when we were heading to launch, we knew it was very crowded.”

Describing 2023 as an “unusual year” for new PS5 games and new Xbox games, Robbins says “Star Wars Jedi Survivor was a little before us. And as we were nearing launch, Baldur’s Gate 3 suddenly blew up right in front of us […] Starfield was like ten days after us.”

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It’s no secret that Baldur’s Gate 3 in particular went on to blitz through 2023, earning a multitude of awards along the way. In fact, the massive Larian Studios hit put a serious dent in fellow 2023 gaming giant, Spider-Man 2, on the award circuit.

With so many titles surrounding the release of Immortals of Aveum, Robbins believes that “we were sandwiched between a lot of different big games […] we absolutely got lost in the noise. And that was unfortunate, because we pushed the date out a bit in order to get a good polish pass done.” Despite the extra time to make the game sparkle, it didn’t make much of a difference: “Although the game was better, the timing was worse.”

Whether the game would have fared better with a different release window is hard to know, but that might not have been beneficial either. Robbins adds “it was a murderer’s row of big games [….] maybe we could have moved to February 2024, and then suddenly, Helldivers 2 eats our lunch.” Right now, no game wants to be in Helldivers 2’s path. Arrowhead Game Studios’ breakout bug-squishing, explosive shooter is one of the best multiplayer games of the year already, and one of the best PS5 games available.

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Despite the barriers the game has faced, Robbins is hopeful the franchise can evolve: “We are still here, we are still supporting it […] the story of Immortals isn’t written yet. I was the creative director on Dead Space, and people were discovering that for years and years. I think Immortals will be the same.”

In other news, one of Call of Duty’s most legendary former developers, David Vonderhaar, has founded a new studio and is already at work on a brand-new co-op game.