Eidos Montreal Boss Quits Due To “Irreconcilable Differences”
Eidos Montreal has brought us some great games over the years, most notably Deus Ex: Human Revolution and is currently wrapping up Thief. However, Square Enix (the studio’s publisher) is in financial trouble and recently changed its business model to focus more on mobile and smaller titles to keep costs down while maximising profits. This shift seems to have pushed Eidos Montreal’s former boss, Stephane D’Astous, away due to “irreconcilable differences.”
The former studio head resigned and quickly blasted Square Enix’s leadership as a parent company. In a statement provided to Develop, Stephane D’Astous lamented the “lack of courage and lack of communication” from higher-ups, and explained he left due to irreconcilable differences.
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“Since last year’s financial short-coming performance of Square Enix Europe, we (HQ London and GM Eidos-Montreal) have had growing and divergent opinions on what needed to be done to correct the situation,” he said.
“The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn’t able to conduct my job correctly. I realised that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways.”
In the Square Enix reshuffle, the studio was tasked with focusing on mobile and tablet games – which it did pretty well with Deus Ex: The Fall on tablets – D’Astous was meanwhile reassigned to a role in cross-studio operations. The executive producer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, David Anfossi, stepped up to become head of Eidos Montreal at that time.
This shouldn’t affect the studio’s upcoming Thief title too much but it does speak of Square Enix’s new strategy which may not gel with all of its employees and subsidiaries. Telling a developer that they will no longer be focusing on AAA titles and effectively relegating them to mobile may not be what everyone wants. That said, there is a lot of growth in mobile and plenty that top developers can do with the platform.
This is likely the conflicting interests that caused D’Astous to resign although being bumped down the chain of authority is sure to bruise a guy’s ego.
Where this may take Square Enix and Eidos Montreal in the future remains to be seen and we’ll have to see if any other employees associated with Square Enix aren’t comfortable in the new structure.