GameBaba Universe

Mixed Reactions Trail Volition Games Shutdown Following Embracer Group Restructuring Drive

Mixed Reactions Trail Volition Games Shutdown Following Embracer Group Restructuring Drive

The buzz around Starfield’s launch was punctuated by the news about the shutdown of Volition Games. The news was shared on the studio’s official LinkedIn handle about half an hour after the embargo on Starfield was lifted. Volition is famous for making Saints Row and Red Faction.

Volition Games shutdown announcement

“This past June, Embracer Group announced a restructuring program to strengthen Embracer and maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry,” read the second of the three-paragraph message. “As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decision to close Volition effective immediately.”

The last paragraph hinted that the studio is working hard to “provide job assistance and help smooth the transition of our Volition family members”. Finally, they thanked all the fans that have supported them over the years saying, “You will always be in our hearts”.

ALSO READ: Xbox 360 Store Will Shut Down In 2024. Here Are The Implications

Volition Games celebrated its 30th anniversary in July 2023, a celebration that was heralded as an important milestone. The studio shared a video at that time with a lengthy description that poured out their gratitude for the support they have received over the years.

Some of the studio members expressed their appreciation in the video interspersed with clips of games from the studio’s history. The first to speak was Jim Boone, the Chief Creative officer, who ended by saying, “We can’t wait to see you in the next thirty”. With the sudden closure announcement, the next 30 years—or next chapter as some called it—would never come.

Some analysts said the Volition Games shutdown was a long time coming

According to Eurogamer, the announcement would likely affect 340 people, based on the recent employment figures shared by the studio. Last year, Volition Games released a reboot of Saints Row. However, in a financial update last November, Embracer said the game “did not meet the full expectations and left the fanbase partially polarized.

Shortly after the financial report, Embracer announced that Volition Games would be part of Gearbox, the developers of Borderlands. Embracer was recently hit by a financial crisis which necessitated the Group to launch a “comprehensive restructuring program”.

“We are making good progress on the restructuring program,” the Group said in their Q1 2023/24 Interim Report. “We are tracking towards the targets, including reducing capex by at least SEK 2.9 billion and overhead costs by at least SEK 0.8 billion by FY 2024/25, as well as reaching a financial net debt below SEK 8 billion by the end of this financial year.”

ALSO READ: Concerns Trail Starfield Exploration Limit Screen Ahead Of Launch

One of those who said the closure of Volition Games was always hanging by the corner was Dmytro Hlotenko, a cloud architect, who expressed disappointment with the Saint’s Row reboot. “I dropped after 2 hours of playing on the release and never came back. I didn’t understand all those superheroes and Seoul settings, not a fan of this,” he wrote.

Xavier Miller, a game designer, justified the decision by making reference to a $2 billion deal with Savvy Games Group that Embracer lost. According to Miller, “That’s a lot of lost dollars. Probably [Embracer] thinks it’s not worth the financial risk to keep so many studios open.”

There was a pouring of support and condemnation of the Embracer Group

In the past few years, Embracer Group has acquired a plethora of studios to widen their grip on the gaming industry—and this is notwithstanding that the Group is already in financial distress.

While the bulk of the message expressed support for the team at Volition Games and their families, one thought that resonated was, “Why acquire a studio only to close it down after a few months or years?” This was exactly the views of William Phi Gauthier, a senior game designer with over six years of experience.

Danil Serdyukov, a 3D artist, said, “Unfortunately the gaming industry has gone from teams of enthusiastic people who created legendary games to a regular corporate business where the main place is occupied by money, turnover, sales, donations, commissions, in-game stores, markets, profits, and marketing”. This view also resonated in the comment section of the announcement.

ALSO READ: Super Mario Bros. Wonder Gameplay Revealed In Nintendo Direct Of 31 August. How It Compares To Classic Super Mario Bros.

Founded in 1993 as Parallax Software, Volition Games got its new name in 1996 and followed up with the creation of memorable IPs including Red Faction, Summoner, and Saints Row. THQ acquired the studio in 2000.

Regardless of the performance of Saints Row, the closure of Volition Games severs a part of the memory of those who grew up playing games from the studio.

Remember to share and bookmark this website to stay up to date on all the hottest news in the gaming industry.