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Eidos Montreal GM resigns

Stephane D'Astous departs, citing irreconcilable differences with Square Enix management, lack of leadership, courage, and communication.

Eidos Montreal has lost the only general manager it's ever known. Stephane D'Astous resigned from the Thief studio last Friday, the developer told GamesIndustry International today.

"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," D'Astous 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."

D'Astous was named general manager of Eidos Montreal when the studio first opened in 2007. The studio is best known for resurrecting one dormant Eidos franchise with the critically acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution. However, Eidos Montreal's attempts to repeat that feat with the Thief franchise have not gone as smoothly. Last year, Kotaku reported that the game had lost a number of key talent during its development, including two lead level designers, its audio director, and no less than five other senior developers.

Last month, Eidos confirmed that Thief was on track for a simultaneous 2014 release on PC, as well as current-gen and next-gen platforms. As of press time, a Square Enix representative had not responded to a request for comment on how D'Astous' departure will impact the game's release.

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Latest comments (3)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
Well. That was unequivocal.

I have two takes on this, but largely on Sweenix in general: the consumer standpoint, and the reporter who focuses on the industry standpoint.

The former is of course sitting here going "yeah! Yeah!!!", because I'm frustrated, as a fan, with the direction that Squeenix has taken for years. While it's nice to see some other games coming like KH3 and FF Versus/15, they're really frustrating in how they chase quick bucks, and the way they go about it. If it's a mobile game, they stiff us on the price. If it's anything else, it's the worst excesses of freemium, games that effectively strip mine the names we've loved so much growing up, from Final Fantasy to what they're doing with Saga and Star Ocean.

From the business side, it's that chasing of the buck that concerns me. if anything, the only things Squeenix have done right have been on the Western front via Eidos, so if one of them is leaving, that's worrisome. Beyond that, they seem to be a step behind the market. "Oh, freemium is working for Zynga and King, let's try our own!", but they have no respect for their fans in how they apply it. Their #1 freemium game isn't even free to play; it's $2.99. They know they have a dedicated fanbase who will pay, and they are squeezing every blood out of that rock; it's going to bite them in the ass - in more than just poor quarterly earnings - soon.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 7 years ago
This story should be updated?
According to LinkedIn, a new studio head has been in place since June, 2013. David Anfossi was a producer on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. According to his LinkedIn profile, he assumed leadership last month.
If true, then it's good news. Deus Ex: HR was a very strong game, and the very opposite of what the new Thief is shaping up to be. With luck, David Anfossi will be a strong positive force in the coming months.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ7 years ago
I worry about my poor Thief.
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