Volition, the studio behind the Saints Row franchise, has officially been shut down.
After years of major million-dollar acquisitions, The Embracer Group is finally starting to pare back its reach on the games industry. Games are getting more expensive to make and all major publishers--Take-Two, EA, Activision-Blizzard, Xbox, PlayStation, etc--are looking for ways to save money. This has led to mass layoffs in the thousands of tech workers.
Embracer is not exempt from this trend and the cracks are starting to show in the company's decentralized, entrepreneur-based structure. The parent company has made a multi-million cost-savings plan that requires cancellation of games and studio closures. One of these casualties just happens to be Volition, the studio that has been making Saints Row, Red Faction, and Descent games for the last 30 years.
Yes, that's right: Volition is getting shut down so that Embracer Group can save money. This is a bit of a misnomer; Saints Row V's was a dud, and after the game failed to meet expectations, Volition was shifted from Deep Silver (now known as Plaion) over to Gearbox. Embracer is made up of multiple operational units/publishers, and Gearbox is one of them. So in essence, it was Gearbox that cut the studio loose.
Volition has now been shut down, effectively immediately. The studio left the following message to commemorate 30 years of games:
Thirty years of making games.
There are only a handful of studios in the industry that have been around for 30 years, and we took a lot of pride over Volition being one of them. Volition has been around long enough that some folks forget what we made, but they certainly know our games.
Refrains such as "Volition made Descent??" or "Volition made FreeSpace?!" or "Volition made that Summoner RPG with that hilarious video?!" are not uncommon. Sometimes it's easier to remember the games more than the studio that built them, especially for those that have been around as long as we have. But all good things come to an end, and so it is with Volition.
After 30 years Volition has closed, and we wanted to say a few final words.
To start, we know there wouldn't be a studio without the people in it.
While it may sound cliched, as those who have worked at Volition can attest, it truly is a huge family. Volition started with a team that had a vision for how to make the kinds of games other couldn't and infused that confidence throughout the entire company.
We assembled and incredibly talented group of artists, storytellers, and creators who together built a culture that attracted top quality people who truly cared for each other. Time progressed, people naturally came and went (and very often returned again!), but the people were always what made Volition truly special. Do all developers feel the same? We know they do, but in this case there truly was a unique culture of people that cared aboute ach other like family, combined with the will ot create some of the most unique games ever created.
Thank you so much to ever Volitionite who has ever worked here. You are all what made this magical pace it was to work at, and we can never say enough about how much you have meant to use over these 30 years.
Beyond our development family, we also wouldn't have a studio without our extended family--our community!
For 30 years now you have played our games--sometimes you've loved them, sometimes you've been disappointed with them, but you've always been there.
We can speak fore veryone who has worked at Volition when we say all the hard work and sacrifices we've put into these games have been for you. Over these many years, we have enjoyed working on an extremely diverse series of games, and so many of you have come along for that ride.
We can't thank you enough for sticking with us throughout all this time. We've loved your enthusiasm every step of the away, even those times when you wish we had (or hadn't!) gone a certain with a Saints ow or Red Factor or Descent.
You are why we kept making these games, and those of us that have been part of the Volition family will be eternally grateful.