Deep Silver Volition, developer of hugely popular video games such as Descent, Red Faction, and Saints Row, has been permanently shut down by its parent company Embracer Group, which bought the studio in 2018.
An exact number of affected employees isn’t available, but it is likely in the hundreds. According to Volition’s Linkedin account, the studio employed 244 people either at its Champaign, Illinois headquarters or working remotely.
In May of this year, the Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group saw its biggest-ever drop in share price after news that a $2 billion partnership agreement previously announced by the company had dissolved. According to Axios, the other party in that deal was Saudi-government-funded Savvy Games Group.
In June, Embracer announced an upcoming restructuring of its businesses which would include closing studios and laying off employees. Numerous sources familiar with the situation said the failure of the Saudi deal was the reason for the restructuring.
Volition’s shutdown comes after the company celebrated its 30th anniversary in June. Launched in 1993 as Parallax Software Corporation, the company’s first title was the classic sci-fi first-person shooter Descent, which was later followed by other cult favorites such as Summoner and the Red Faction series. In 2006, the developer launched the first game of its popular Saints Row franchise, which was rebooted in 2022 to mixed reactions and poor sales.
Here’s Volition’s complete statement about the studio’s closure:
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 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.
Pictured at top: Descent, Red Faction, Saints Row: The Third
With the abundance of layoffs affecting the animation, vfx, and video game industries, Cartoon Brew recently launched a Layoff Tracker which can be found here.