(Redirected from Dawn Engine)

Eidos-Montréal is a Canadian video game developer based in Montreal. The studio was founded by Eidos Interactive in 2007 and is part of Square Enix Europe.

IndustryVideo games
Founded26 November 2007; 14 years ago (2007-11-26)
FounderStéphane D'Astous
Key people
Number of employees
442 (Montréal)
34 (Sherbrooke)
5 (Shanghai) (2022)
ParentSquare Enix Europe
(pending sale to Embracer Group)
  • Eidos-Shanghai
  • Eidos-Sherbrooke


Eidos Interactive announced plans to open a Montreal-based subsidiary studio in February 2007.[1] Eidos-Montréal formally opened with general manager Stéphane D'Astous on 26 November 2007.[2] According to D'Astous, unlike other video game development studios, Eidos-Montréal's development cycle as characterized by smaller teams (totalling to 350) working over a longer period.[3]

The same year as its founding, the studio announced to work on a project Deus Ex project.[4] In May 2009, the studio announced to work on the fourth installment of the Thief series.[5] D'Astous resigned from Eidos-Montréal on 19 July 2013, citing irreconcilable differences with parent company Square Enix.[6] On 4 March 2014, Square Enix announced that 27 employees were laid off from Eidos-Montréal.[7]

On January 26, 2017, Square Enix announced a partnership with Marvel Entertainment to create multiple video games based on Marvel properties, the first of which was announced as Avengers, based on the comics of the same name, which would be developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.[8] In May 2018, the studio had over 500 employees.[9] In April 2018, YouTube journalist George Weidman (Super Bunnyhop) reported on a cancelled video game codenamed "Fantasy Project W" that was in development in 2012. In an interview with PCGamesN in May, studio head David Anfossi said he couldn't comment on the report, but found the video "very well done" and "very funny to watch". He explained that, within the video game industry, projects are often started but eventually cancelled.[10] In 2019, Eidos-Shanghai became part of Eidos-Montréal.[11]

In June 2020, Square Enix announced new research and development studio Eidos-Sherbrooke, led by Julien Bouvrais. It was envisioned to take advantage of the nearby Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop's University and bring in new computing technology from these schools into their games. It was said to initially operate remotely, with plans move to a permanent location in southern Quebec in 2021 and to grow from 20 to 100 staff.[12] On June 13, 2021, during their panel for E3 2021, it was announced that the company would be developing a game based on Guardians of the Galaxy.[13]

In May 2022, Square Enix reached an agreement with Embracer Group to purchase the studio and other assets of Square Enix Europe.[14] During the announcement of this acquisition, it was revealed that Eidos had several projects in development, all using Unreal Engine 5.[15] On May 20th 2022, Embracer Group (before the acquisition was complete) expressed interest in sequels, remakes and remasters in established franchises of the studio such as Deus Ex and Thief.[16]

Games developedEdit

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
2011 Deus Ex: Human Revolution Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360
2014 Thief Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2016 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017 Deus Ex: Breach Microsoft Windows
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – VR Experience
2018 Shadow of the Tomb Raider Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia Crystal Dynamics supported development
2021 Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch (via cloud), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S


On December 4, 2014, Eidos revealed their in-house technology Dawn Engine which was to be used in future Deus Ex projects, first (and only one utilizing Dawn) of which was later revealed to be Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.[17] It is based on a heavily modified version of IO Interactive's Glacier 2, which has its roots in Hitman: Absolution.[18] The engine was created after developers at Eidos-Montréal "found that [their] creative vision was somehow limited" by relying on existing engines.[19][20] The graphics engine has been "almost completely" rewritten. This was done to "fully leverage the power offered by the PC and [eighth-gen] consoles". The creation of Dawn was challenging even for Eidos-Montréal's most experienced staff.[21] The engine was later used for 2021's Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.[22]

Dawn Engine features improved conversation system and cutscenes compared to Glacier 2. Built on an "entity system", Dawn allows designers to create new behaviours without the assistance of programmers.[23] Hair technology is an improved version of AMD's TressFX,[24] which has been developed by the in-house research and development team Labs. Dawn features systems for volumetric lighting and air density, as well as support for dense indoor and outdoor areas, and many dynamic objects. Not all objects are rendered at the same time, the engine makes use of Umbra occlusion culling.[25]With Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, ray tracing and DLSS support was added,[26] as well as working in-game mirrors.

Eidos-Montréal subsequently abandoned work with the Dawn Engine, adopting Unreal Engine 5 for their ongoing work to "focus on content" rather than technical hurdles of developing a game and its engine simultaneously.[27][28]

With the foundation of Eidos-Sherbrooke, research and development work was mostly offloaded to that studio including Eidos-Labs department.[29] Eidos-Sherbrooke is currently focusing on realtime manipulation of in-game terrains, voxel based ray tracing, cloud powered multi-node game engine, and artificial intelligence.[30]


  1. ^ Carless, Simon (15 February 2007). "Eidos Sets Up Development Arm In Montreal". Gamasutra. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  2. ^ French, Michael (26 November 2007). "Eidos Montreal officially opens". Develop. NewBay Media. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  3. ^ Dobson, Jason (19 February 2007). "Q&A: Stephane D'Astous On Eidos Montreal's Next-Gen Plans". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  4. ^ Develop (30 November 2007). "Q&A: Stephane D'Astous, Eidos Montreal". Develop. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  5. ^ Crecente, Brian (11 May 2009). "Thief 4: It's Official". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  6. ^ Ray Corriea, Alexa (23 July 2013). "Eidos Montreal GM resigns, cites 'lack of courage' at Square Enix". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  7. ^ Schreier, Jason (4 March 2014). "Big Layoffs At Thief Developer Eidos Montreal". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  8. ^ Frank, Allegra (26 January 2017). "Square Enix teams up with Marvel for The Avengers project". Polygon. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  9. ^ Dring, Christopher (11 May 2018). "Square Enix teams up with Marvel for The Avengers project". Gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  10. ^ Capel, Chris J. "Eidos Montreal head responds to Final Fantasy Project W rumours". PCGamesN. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  11. ^ Eidos-Montréal 15th Anniversary, retrieved 11 April 2022
  12. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (16 June 2020). "Square Enix announces new Eidos-Sherbrooke studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Save the Universe (Probably) with 'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy'". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Square Enix Selling Tomb Raider, Deus Ex & Thief Studios (And The Games As Well)". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  15. ^ Strickland, Derek (2 May 2022). "Eidos Montreal has multiple games in development using Unreal Engine 5". TweakTown. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  16. ^ Ivan, Tom (20 May 2022). "Embracer sees 'great potential' in Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal sequels, remakes and remasters". VGC. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  17. ^ Savage, Phil (4 December 2014). "Eidos introduce the engine behind the upcoming Deus Ex". PC Gamer. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Eidos Montreal shows off the Dawn Engine, the "cornerstone" of Deus Ex Universe". PCGamesN. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Eidos announces its next-gen game engine: the Dawn Engine". HEXUS. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  20. ^ OXM Staff (21 April 2015). "Designing Deus Ex's futuristic Dawn Engine". gamesradar. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  21. ^ "How the Dawn Engine is powering the next wave of Deus Ex games". MCV. 11 February 2015. ISSN 1469-4832. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Eidos Confirms Guardians Of The Galaxy And Avengers Use Different Engines". TheGamer. 27 September 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  23. ^ "How the Dawn Engine is powering the next wave of Deus Ex games". MCV. 11 February 2015. ISSN 1469-4832. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  24. ^ Paras, Archie (17 March 2015). "Dawn Engine – First Slide Showcasing AMD's TressFX 3.0". Wccftech. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  25. ^ "Improving Geometry Culling for 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided' (presented by Umbra)". www.gdcvault.com. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  26. ^ "Guardians of the Galaxy's RT upgrade adds extra shine to a brilliant game". Eurogamer.net. 18 December 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  27. ^ Embracer Group enters into an agreement to acquire Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montréal, retrieved 18 May 2022
  28. ^ Palumbo, Alessio (2 May 2022). "Eidos Montréal Has Adopted Unreal Engine 5 Over In-House Tools". Wccftech. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  29. ^ "WorldGen: Painting the world, one layer at a time". Eidos-Sherbrooke. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  30. ^ "Projects". Eidos-Sherbrooke. Retrieved 9 June 2022.

External linksEdit