The megalithic Embracer Group has announced that Saints Row developer Volition will soon become a part of Gearbox after a disappointing launch to the Saints Row reboot earlier this year.
This will see Volition being taken from one publishing arm that Embracer owns and folded into another, jumping ship from Plaion (formerly known as Deep Silver) and over to Gearbox. It seems that Volition will continue to be its own studio, but that Embracer has decided it needed a more US-oriented leadership.
Saints Row was a critical disappointment, but speaking alongside the latest quarterly financial report, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said that “Financially, Saints Row has performed in line with management expectations in the quarter.”
Even so, “Going forward, Volition will transition to become part of Gearbox which has all the tools, including an experienced management team in the US, to create future success at Volition. This is the first internal group transfer where we transfer a major studio between operative groups, but it is not necessarily the last.”
Previously, Wingefors had said, “On the financial side, I know, or I’m confident we will make money on the investment. Would it have as great a return on investment as we have seen in many other games? Not very likely, but we will make money, and that’s a very good starting point at least.”
Embracer has clearly started to make decisions to exert more influence and rebalance the manage publishing labels that it controls. Having recently acquired Square Enix’s Western studios, rebranding them and giving them a separate publishing arm, it chose to close down the mobile-oriented studio formerly known as Square Enix Montreal.
In our Saints Row review, Jim actually generally enjoyed what he saw, saying:
“After so many facelifts, there were fears Saints Row would fail to recapture the unconventional beauty of the earlier games, but this reboot proves how adept Volition is when it comes to reinventing their flagship franchise. This latest outing is my favourite game in the series to date, so while basic combat and dips in visual quality are disappointing, they did little to keep me away from Santo Ileso. You’ll struggle to find anything ground-breaking though this sandbox is bursting with entertaining things to do, ideal for sharing with a partner in crime.”
Since August and that initial disappointment, Volition has been hard at work on updates for the game. In fact, today saw the release of the Bright Future Update (somewhat ironically titled), which has fixed over 200 bugs, made quality of life improvements, and more.
“We have many more updates, new features and fixes planned and we will have more news to share on that in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you spot anything please report it through the channels on the support page. Thank you all for your support, now go forth and slay thy rivals for control of Santo Ileso” comments Deep Silver Volition, “Your passion for Saints Row and us as a studio continues to amaze and drive us for the future.”