The lights are on
Update #2: Square-Enix provided a statement to Game Informer detailing changes at a number of studios that occurred last month. "As Square Enix re-aligns its business in the West against a rapidly changing market, we have made some strategic changes to some studio teams.," the statement reads. The following leadership changes have been made:
Darrell Gallagher will take on the position of Head of Studios, heading up all studios in North America and Europe, previously Gallagher was Studio Head at Crystal Dynamics the team behind this year's Tomb Raider reboot. Whilst he will also retain his role at Crystal for the immediate future, he will work directly with other studios on our ongoing portfolio strategy. David Anfossi is moving up to become Studio Head at Eidos-Montréal - formerly Executive Producer on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Anfossi has 18 years' experience in project management. He will lead the studio as it completes its development of Thief as well as oversee two other unannounced projects currently in development at the studio.At Square Enix Montréal, Patrick Naud will take on a central leadership role as the studio is built into a centre of excellence for game development on smart devices (primarily tablets). The studio will focus immediately on games around the Hitman brand, and in time will also work on games outside of this franchise, using their AAA development experience to set new standards in this space.And Hannes Seifert has taken on the role of Studio Head full-time at IO Interactive, where they are in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project. "Our focus remains firmly set on making great games and delivering unforgettable experiences," said Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix America & Europe. "Whilst our games will come in different shapes and sizes, we want to deliver them faster and better and we believe these changes will help our studios achieve just that."
Update #1: 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. The profile also includes a recommendation from D'Astous who hired Anfossi at Ubisoft. D'Astous calls Anfossi his "right-arm" and "go-to-guy." (Thanks for the tip, Gab.)
Reports are coming in that Eidos Montreal has lost a key leader. The studio is in the midst of developing a reboot to the Thief series.
Polygon has obtained information that general manager and co-founder of Eidos Stephane D'Astous has left the studio, and a statement indicates that it was due to tension between the studio and publisher Square Enix. D'Astous departure comes after significant layoffs in North America and Europe and the departure of North American CEO Mike Fischer.
The publisher has also been facing significant financial woes. We've reached out to Square Enix for more information.
For more information on the history of the current Thief title, including the studio's quiet period and rumors of cancelation, we have a video from our coverage in March 2013.
Our TakeThis seems to confirm the rumors swirling around the Thief project that continued even after we visited the studio for the cover story earlier this year. The departure of the general manager and founder is going to leave a leadership vacuum and turmoil, especially given the tone of the statement published by Polygon.