Volition made an announcement today that their company is closing its doors after 30 years in the business. This is due to their parent company, the Embracer Group, conducting a large scale restructure which has involved layoffs of many staff, project cancellations and even the closure of studios. It seems that Volition is the most recent of casualties.
Volition was originally a company called Parallax Software formed in 1993 by Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog in Champaign, Illinois. Over the course of a couple of years, the studio grew and eventually released the classic 3D shooter Descent in 1995. The game was a critical and commercial success and would spawn sequels and spin-offs. Parallax Software would eventually split and the studio led by Kulas would be renamed to Volition in 1996.
Volition continued to develop games throughout the late 90s and early 2000s such as the 2000 RPG Summoner and the 2001 FPS Red Faction (which has the unique feature of destructible terrain). In the late 2000s, Volition would create arguably its most famous franchise, Saints Row, with the first game being released in 2006 and a sequel in 2008. More sequels to Saints Row followed over the next decade and a reboot of Saints Row was released just last month but it received a lukewarm reception.
Veteran developers in the industry have fond memories of Volition and wishes its employees well. John Romero of DOOM fame said he was "surprised to hear of Volition's closing, a studio with a long and important legacy" and also mentioned his current company, Romero Games had several openings available.
I am so sorry and surprised to hear of Volition's closing, a studio with a long and important legacy. For those affected, we do have several openings https://t.co/iXvlfuvvD3. Hope everyone lands on their feet. pic.twitter.com/YtKbau9cvn— John Romero 🤘🏽 (@romero) August 31, 2023
Indie developer of Nuclear Throne, Rami Ismail said he was a "big Volition fan" throughout his life and was "very sad to hear this."
god, there's so few left, and every next one hurts a little more. big volition fan throughout my life, very sad to hear this. https://t.co/r1uEJXPeJs— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) August 31, 2023
Even Scott Miller of Apogee reminisced about the good ol' days, how they had a "small role in kicking off Volition founder Mike Kulas' indie career back in 1993" by providing some funding for Descent. He wished "everyone there quick success in landing a new place in the industry".
Very saddened to see this.— Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder☢️ (@ScottApogee) August 31, 2023
Apogee played a small role in kicking off Volition founder Mike Kulas' (@MikeKulas) indie career back in 1993, by funding Descent for its first year of development, which then lead to numerous other hit sequels and games for Mike and his studio. I wish… https://t.co/NSVu6rRFHJ