Saints Row developer Volition has been shut down with immediate effect, shortly after celebrating its 30th year anniversary in June.
The news follows as parent company Embracer Group restructured its studio portfolio after failing to secure billions of dollars in investment earlier this year. Meanwhile, Volition was already struggling after the 2022 Saints Row reboot failed to perform critically or financially, and had been shunted over to becoming part of Gearbox in a reshuffle. Since then the studio had continued to work on updates and DLC for Saints Row – and it has just been announced as one of the PS Plus games for September – but this wasn’t enough to save the studio.
A full statement has been released by Volition, saying, “The Volition team has proudly created world-class entertainment for fans around the globe for 30 years. We’ve been driven by a passion for our community and always worked to deliver joy, surprise, and delight. This past June, Embracer Group announced a restructuring program to strengthen Embracer and maintain its position in the video game industry. As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decision to close Volition effective immediately.
“To help our team, we are working to provide job assistance and help smooth the transition for our Volition family members. 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, originally known as Parallax Software, was mainly known for its Saints Row franchise in recent memory, but had several big and notable games before then. Its first game series was the pioneering 6DoF shooter Descent, which grew into the space combat FreeSpace games. However, it was Red Faction that really put the studio on the map, again pioneering new game technology with sweeping level destruction and deformation.
The modern era for the studio started in 2006 with Saints Row, a first attempt to latch onto the popularity of the 3D GTA games, and while Red Faction Guerrilla and Armageddon were sprinkled in alongside, the studio shifted gears to the sensationalised, over-the-top action that defined Saints Row: The Third and beyond. Unfortunately, this was a fleeting success, as they struggled to recapture that style and tone with Agents of Mayhem, and the Saints Row reboot fell flat.
Saints Row is going to be part of the September PlayStation Plus Essential line up, so Plus subscribers can experience what Volition was trying to do with its reboot, which ultimately was not successful for the studio.
With over 200 employees at Volition prior to its closure, we wish everyone affected all the best in finding new employment. Hopefully many have already been able to find a new home within the sprawling network of publishers and studios within Embracer.