Are we in the midst of the next big video game crash? It's a somber day in the gaming world, as we come to terms with the news of the closure of renowned video game developer, Volition. Embracer Group, the current owner, made the difficult decision to shut down the studio as part of their broader restructuring strategy to fortify the company's position in the gaming market.
Volition, with a rich history spanning 30 years, voiced their heartfelt gratitude to their global fans. In a statement on LinkedIn, they mentioned:
For three decades, our dedication to delivering world-class entertainment was propelled by our immense passion for our community. Our commitment has always been to sprinkle joy, surprise, and delight in every project.
However, the winds of change began this past June when Embracer Group embarked on its restructuring journey. Intent on consolidating its place as a gaming powerhouse, the company made a series of evaluations on both strategic and operational fronts.
Embracer Fallout Continues, Shuts Down Volition Studios
This led to the regrettable but necessary decision to cease Volition's operations. While the announcement is undeniably painful for fans, the studio assures its team of their continuous support in these challenging times.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Volition's inception as Parallax Software Corporation dates back to the early 90s. They later adopted the name 'Volition' in 1996. The studio switched ownership multiple times: from its acquisition by THQ in 2000 to being taken over by Koch Media under the Deep Silver label after THQ's bankruptcy in 2012. Eventually, Koch, which rebranded to Plaion, was integrated into the Embracer Group in 2018.
Initially gaining traction for iconic games like Descent and Red Faction, Volition's defining moment came with the launch of the Saints Row series. This franchise, especially titles like Saints Row, Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third, and Saints Row IV, resonated deeply with gamers, cementing Volition's legacy in the industry. Back then, I was hopeful that these titles alone would be enough to save THQ from inevitable bankruptcy.
However, all legends face challenges. In recent times, Volition's works didn't capture the same acclaim they once enjoyed. "Agents of Mayhem" in 2017 received a tepid reception. Moreover, a Saints Row reboot, which hit the shelves last year, garnered a mix of reviews, and its average score hovered between 61-65 on Metacritic.
The closure of Volition marks the end of an era in gaming history. Their legacy, however, will continue to inspire, reminding us of their unparalleled dedication to the craft and the global gaming community. I wish all the employees well - none of them deserve this outcome.