It’s never a good day in the video game industry when a company has to close its doors for good. Not only does that mean there’s one less potential video game in development, but it also means that the people who would have worked on that game are now out of a job. Not too long ago, the development studio Volition, which had been around for decades, revealed that they were shutting down as part of their parent group’s “restructuring” program. That left many people without jobs, but thankfully, Xbox Games Studios decided to try and help the crew in a way that should make everyone smile.
Simply put, the Xbox Games Studios team and Bethesda went to Champaign, IL, the home of Volition, and held an event where some of the released employees could attempt to find another video game development position.
This is not only a great thing but a noble one. Those on the outside might think that when a video game developer is let go from their position, it will be “easy to find a new job.” But that’s not the case at all. In the industry, there are plenty of people fighting for few jobs. Plus, there is the location aspect. Not every video game company likes remote work for their higher-up positions; thus, people are expected to live where the company is. That means you have to commit to being there and then hope it works out in the long term.
While it’s unlikely there are enough jobs for the entirety of Volition at this event, the fact that they can try at least to gain new employment is meaningful enough. Hopefully, other companies will take this idea to heart should another big company go down.
As for why Volition was shuttered, the biggest catalyst for their downfall was easily the Saints Row Reboot released last year. The franchise was their bread and butter, giving them lots of fame and credit. However, with the reboot, everything that could have gone wrong basically did. The game was buggy at launch. Many didn’t like the gameplay and story elements. The characters were called bland and more. While the company did work hard to improve things, including releasing some key updates post-launch, it wasn’t enough. Their parent company, The Embracer Group, apparently lost about $100 million because of the game.
While they may be gone, let’s all hope the people within the company find the jobs they desire elsewhere.