Saints Row Developer Volition Has Been Shut Down

The studio was closed after a lengthy 30-year run as part of Embracer Group's restructuring.

Image Credit: Volition Games, Saints Row

As part of its restructuring efforts, Swedish video game and media holding company Embracer Group has officially shut down Volition Games, the developer behind the iconic Saints Row franchise, effective immediately.

In a farewell letter shared by the studio via its website and LinkedIn page, the Volition team shared that their 30-year journey has come to an indefinite halt following Embracer's evaluation of its strategic and operational goals. They also expressed gratitude to their customers and fans for the years of love and support and mentioned their commitment to assisting the affected Volition devs in finding new job opportunities and helping them navigate through the transitional phase related to the studio's closure.

"The Volition team has proudly created world-class entertainment for fans around the globe for 30 years," reads Volition's farewell letter. "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 as a leader 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."

Image Credit: Volition Games

For those unaware, the restructuring campaign mentioned in the letter was first announced back in June, shortly after the reveal of Embracer's financial results for the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year ending in March 2023.

The financial report in question disclosed that Embracer had lowered its financial expectations following a "challenging year", which encompassed several game delays and the cancellation of a potential $2 billion partnership with the infamous Saudi Arabian company Savvy Games Group

As part of the restructuring, the company planned to review its process for investments, reduce investments in projects from partner companies, and, most importantly, close multiple game development studios, with Volition getting the short end of the stick and being chosen as one of the studios to be closed.

Image Credit: Volition Games, Saints Row

However, the decision to shut down Volition Games in particular may also be attributed to the studio's latest and ultimately final creation – the reboot of Saints Row. Upon its launch, the game faced near-universal disdain from players and critics alike, with backlash being so severe that it resulted in a significant 7% overnight drop in Embracer's stock price.

Following that, Embracer Group's CEO Lars Wingefors commented on the launch of Saints Row, expressing the company's disappointment with its reception and acknowledging the game's "very polarising" nature. Embracer then went on to expand upon the topic, noting that although Saints Row reboot's financial performance was in line with its expectations, the game's reception was not.

Nonetheless, in the Q3 earnings report unveiled in early 2023, it was revealed that Saints Row reboot had a very low ROI after all, urging Embracer to embrace a new approach and "optimize investments". It seems that in the end, the optimization technique chosen by the company was to shut down the studio altogether and lay off dozens of its developers.

Image Credit: Volition Games, Saints Row

What do you think about the closure of Volition? What do you think caused it? Can Saints Row reboot be actually blamed for it? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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