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Volition Games was one of the studios negatively impacted by Embracer Group’s restructuring. In August last year, Embracer announced that it was shutting down Volition Games “effective immediately”. Members of the defunct studio teamed up to form Shapeshifter Games. Posts from people mentioning they landed new roles at the studio started popping up on LinkedIn 3 months ago.

Ex-Volition Games Devs Form Shapeshifter Games, Winds Up Clockwork Revolution

The new studio was formed late last year. However, they came to the fore after making a post on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, announcing their collaboration with a top publisher. The post also mentioned that the studio was in search of talented developers who would help them grow.

“Shapeshifter is a new co-development studio that was started by pulling together a group of experienced developers from Volition,” the studio wrote on LinkedIn. “We are focused on AAA game development. One of the goals of the company is to create a more sustainable environment for developers to do their best work.”

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“We’re already hard at work with a top publisher on their next great IP and looking to grow. Shapeshifter is always searching for talented developers to help us grow. Please reach out, we would love to hear from you.”

According to the studio’s LinkedIn profile, Shapeshifter Games was founded in 2023 and has 11 to 50 employees. The studio is headed by Matt Madigan who previously worked as director of finance at Lost Boys Interactive. Rob Loftus, former principal producer on Saints Row, will be the studio director.

Ex-Volition Games Devs Form Shapeshifter Games, Winds Up Clockwork Revolution

“It’s been five months since the closure of Volition, but I’m grateful to post that a group of us have re-formed as Shapeshifter Games,” Loftus wrote on LinkedIn on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. “The industry climate remains tough and I know I’m fortunate to reconnect with colleagues and turn the page on a new adventure. I’m hopeful for more groups like us and for the brighter days ahead.”

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Loftus is joined at Shapeshifter Games by former Volition devs including Alex Cline (designer), David Andsager (software engineer), Matt Madigan (studio head), Brian Traficante (creative director), Darren Dienst (designer), Chad Dodson (level designer), Bryan Dillow (designer), Jeff Touchstone (level designer), and AJ Nelson (principal lighting artist).

Shapeshifter Games is working on Clockwork Revolution

Ex-Volition Games Devs Form Shapeshifter Games, Winds Up Clockwork Revolution

Clockwork Revolution is an Xbox exclusive that was revealed at the Xbox Showcase last year. The action role-playing game is being developed by inXile entertainment who announced in a blog post on January 30 that Shapeshifter Games would wind up Clockwork Revolution.

“Shortly after Volition closed, we flew to Illinois and worked with Xbox and the then ex-Volition leadership to secure this new team as our co-development partner. Their wealth of industry experience further bolstering our efforts in developing our upcoming steampunk RPG Clockwork Revolution.”

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Apparently, inXile entertainment executives had a history with the team at Volution Games before it was shuttered. Some of the memories were reminisced in the post published by the company.

“I was very grateful to be able to help secure this new studio and get some truly amazing developers to help make Clockwork a reality,” wrote inXile entertainment studio head Brian Fargo. “Co-dev groups are almost a given these days, but this one is special for us because of my long history with them going back to the Descent and FreeSpace games.”

Ex-Volition Games Devs Form Shapeshifter Games, Winds Up Clockwork Revolution

“One of the first games I tested in my career was Descent, so I have a special place in my heart for the Parallax/Volition team and history,” wrote inXile President Chris Keenan. “First priority was ensuring these folks had a place to land on Clockwork Revolution, and we’re thankful we were able to get it done so quickly. Bringing in new development partners can be challenging, but this was a rare partnership that felt right from the beginning.”

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“The talented and experienced team that joined Shapeshifter has hit the ground running,” wrote Matt Madigan, Shapeshifter Games studio head. “We’ve had a lot of support from former Volitionites, and are truly grateful to inXile and Microsoft for the opportunity to assist with the development of a great new IP.”

There have been growing calls on those who have lost their jobs in the game industry to unite and form indie studios and share the profit that will come out from any game they make. Shapeshifter Games shows that the idea is achievable, and we hope they succeed at it.

Emecheta Christian

Emecheta Christian is an avid gamer with over 5 years in the industry. He is also a poet. It is therefore not surprising that his post sometimes read like poetry.


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