Tenured developer Volition is being moved under the Gearbox umbrella, following disappointing reception to its recent reboot of the Saints Row franchise. While Volition has reportedly been working hard to overcome the title’s shortcomings, according to a new financial report from Embracer Group, the studio will now work on ‘future success’ with a new publishing partner.
‘The reception of Saints Row did not meet the full expectations and left the fanbase partially polarised,’ Lars Wingefors, Embracer Group CEO said of the move. ‘The game development studio, Volition, has been working hard to improve the player experience.’
‘Going forward, Volition will transition to become part of Gearbox which has all the tools, including an experienced management team in the US, to create future success at Volition. This is the first internal group transfer where we transfer a major studio between operative groups, but it is not necessarily the last.’
The exact reason for Volition’s removal from Plaion (formerly Koch Media) is currently unknown, however it’s likely Gearbox has stronger resources and scope to guide development at Volition in future. As one of the largest publishers owned by Embracer Group, it also has an impressive depth of experience.
In the same financial report, the next steps for Volition were made clear: it will continue to work on Saints Row, addressing a variety of bug fixes and other issues to push the experience forward, and better align it with fan expectations. The first major update for Saints Row has already been released, with over 200 improvements included, and more are expected in the coming months.
The Volition transfer to Gearbox is unlikely to make a major impact on this process for now, although the benefits may become clearer as the studio overcomes existing hurdles, and turns its attention to the future.
At this stage, no further changes have been announced for Embracer Group studios, however, there may be additional updates and transfers going forward.