Volition, known for creating popular video game franchises such as Red Faction and Saints Row, announced its abrupt shutdown, a decision stemming from its parent company Embracer Group’s extensive restructuring strategy. The official news surfaced on the company’s LinkedIn account, coinciding with the timing when Starfield reviews were being broadcast. The unexpected closure has left many fans and industry stakeholders in shock.
Embracer Group’s Troubled Waters
This sudden development is linked to the fallout from Embracer Group’s failed $2 billion investment deal with Savvy Games Group, the gaming subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. With the deal going south, Embracer’s share value took a nosedive. In an attempt to recover and secure its position in the gaming industry, the corporation made the announcement about its restructuring initiative in June. Some of its drastic measures included:
- Halting several game developments
- Reducing expenditure across the board
- Selling or shutting down certain studios
The full effects of these measures have now come to light with Volition’s shutdown marking the first casualty of this plan. X.com was among the first to relay the news after several Volition employees indicated their termination.
Volition’s Illustrious Journey
Volition was initially founded in 1993 under the name Parallax Software and was the force behind the Descent video game series. Three years later, in 1996, it was rebranded to Volition, under which it birthed the likes of the Summoner, Red Faction, and Saints Row franchises. Acquired by THQ in 2000, the studio saw another shift in ownership when THQ went bankrupt in 2017, landing it under Deep Silver’s purview. Ultimately, in 2018, Embracer Group took the helm.
The studio’s celebrated 30-year journey wasn’t without its highs and lows:
- Peak Moments: The release of Red Faction: Guerilla in 2009 and Saints Row: The Third in 2011 marked its zenith in the gaming industry.
- Challenging Times: Post the release of Saints Row IV in 2013, the company faced several setbacks. Agents of Mayhem launched in 2017, didn’t live up to expectations in terms of sales. Their 2022 reboot of Saints Row, although awaited with bated breath, received a lukewarm response from both critics and fans.
Following these setbacks, Embracer Group transitioned the studio to Gearbox. With Volition’s closure, the fate of its franchises, notably Saints Row and Red Faction, hangs in the balance.
A Farewell Message
In its farewell note, Volition expressed its gratitude towards its global fan base and promised to assist its employees during the transition. The statement read, “We thank our customers and fans around the world for all the love and support over the years. You will always be in our hearts.”
Volition’s contribution to the gaming industry is undeniable, from cult classics to major franchises. As the industry bids adieu to this iconic studio, gamers worldwide will reminisce and celebrate the memorable gaming experiences it has provided over the past three decades. These experiences have not only shaped the preferences of many but also have created benchmarks for gaming excellence. Though the journey has come to an end, the adventures, stories, and memories will live on in the hearts of gamers worldwide.