Embracer Group closes Saints Row developer Volition

 Official image of Saints Row (2022).
Official image of Saints Row (2022).

What you need to know

  • Volition is a studio based out of Illinois in the U.S. known for working on titles like the Red Faction and Saints Row franchises.

  • After the studio's most recent game, Saints Row (2022), the team was moved under Gearbox Entertainment.

  • Parent company Embracer Group is closing Volition following a restructuring plan that has seen layoffs and studio closures elsewhere across Embracer Group.

Unfortunately, the story of layoffs and studio closures in 2023 is continuing.

Volition, a studio known for work across games like the Saints Row franchise, is shutting down. The studio shared the update on Thursday through LinkedIn, saying that the studio would be closed as part of parent company Embracer Group's ongoing restructuring effort.

"To help our team, we are working to provide job assistance and help smooth the transition for our Volition family members," the studio statement reads. "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."

Following the release of the team's most recent title, Saints Row (2022), Volition was moved under Gearbox Entertainment as a support studio. Earlier in 2023, Embracer Group announced that it would be conducting layoffs and studio closures after a $2 billion deal collapsed.

In our review of Saints Row (2022), staff writer Zachary Boddy shared that it "succeeds at returning to the roots of its predecessors by paring back the outlandish absurdity without losing an ounce of chaos, but sometimes feels as if it's holding on too tightly to a past best left forgotten. Plus, it has a distinct lack of polish."

Analysis: This is awful and the timing is suspect

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There's never a good time to do layoffs. It's never fun to tell over 200 people "Oh hey, in order for our numbers to work, you're losing your jobs." It's a terrible thing that happens way too frequently in this industry.

That said, this announcement coming right as the review embargo for Starfield ended is more that a little suspicious in my mind. It's not easy to bury bad news these days, and it sure looks from the outside that that's what Embracer Group was trying to do here.

I hope everyone affected can land on their feet and find new jobs soon.