It’s not an MMO studio, but it’s still a significant loss for gaming that Volition is being shut down. The studio was owned by Embracer Group, which you may remember embarked on a restructuring process following the collapse of a business deal which turned out to be with Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games. And Volition has no shortage of classic games under its belt, including Descent, the Red Faction series, and the Saints Row series which recently had a reboot in 2022.
The announcement drew commentary from industry veterans including Scott Jennings and Derek Smart, neither of whom were happy to hear of the loss, and ArenaNet’s Bobby Stein letting former developers know that the company was hiring. It’s a sad fate for a storied developer with numerous classic games; pour one out for the Saints today. (Seriously, Volition survived THQ’s implosion and this is how they go out? Sad ending.)
MMORPG players might be wondering about the MMO company that Embracer owns: Cryptic and the rest of PWE, which it swallowed up into the Gearbox property a few years ago. So far as we know, Gearbox is hanging in there, and both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter were singled out in Embracer’s last investor report as major players in the company’s back catalogue. [Update: Well, apparently Gearbox has been hit too, though it appears to be the publishing wing, which is heavily made up up the former PWE unit. We haven’t heard of any Gearbox/Cryptic dev studios being hit yet.]