Big Layoffs Hit Agents Of Mayhem Developer Volition

Big Layoffs Hit Agents Of Mayhem Developer Volition

Volition, the studio behind Agents of Mayhem, laid off over 30 people this week including general manager Dan Cermak, three sources tell Kotaku. The studio previously had around 200 employees.

These layoffs come one month after the release of Agents of Mayhem, an action game set in the same world as Volition’s longrunning Saints Row series.

Sources say that Deep Silver, the publisher and parent company of Volition, was unhappy with Agents of Mayhem‘s sales. (Although video game publishers do not publicly share their sales data, UK sales charts painted a bleak picture for the game.)

Deep Silver did not immediately return a request for comment.

Founded in 1996 and purchased by the former publisher THQ in 2000, Volition released a steady stream of games in its Saints Row and Red Faction series throughout the early aughts.

In 2013, after THQ’s bankruptcy, Deep Silver bought Volition along with the Saints Row franchise. Since then, the studio has put out Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell and, most recently, Agents of Mayhem.


  • Why anyone at all would want to work for games developers with the kind of typical job security the industry has is an absolute mystery to me.

    • Yeah you’re not wrong, I think any game Dev needs to go contract only.

      It’s also quite upsetting for me that people get laid off because something didn’t go well. It always feels like it’s just a business decision to “cut overheads” because the job is done.

    • It’s a software development problem as a whole, game development is just slightly ahead of the curve. Most software development has moved to contract jobs, usually 6 month blocks renewable. Once the project is out the door, they either move the team to a new project or let half of them go and just keep a skeleton development team for maintenance.

  • I have AOM, and I have to say it’s not too bad in the short term, but in the long run its rather tiresome. It really should’ve been a multiplayer game, not a single player.

    • I’ve been enjoying it, and my only complaints are:

      1) Holy fuck, those obnoxious stereotypes. “Overwatch was praised for diversity, let’s do that… to the max!” My least favourite is tied between the fashionista daddy’s girl Italian and the yolo-swag-bling boombox-wielding gangsta, but the hard-drinking, crass, plus-sized Roller Derby queen is right up there. Oh, and for fuck’s sake, who did the casting for Red Card? Did they only decide to make up his nationality halfway through recording? Are there NO voice actors who can do a German accent that doesn’t end up sounding like a confused American trying to do a British mad scientist?

      2) Disturbingly quiet. It’s like they forgot to add a bunch of ambient background music? 90% of my gameplay seems to be collectible noises and startlingly loud barks out of nowhere when collecting. Either that or they thought we’d drive everywhere, which is the only time any music actually kicks in? When driving doesn’t show the collectibles, who would drive anywhere if they weren’t in a hurry to get to an objective?

      • “yolo-swag-bling boombox-wielding gangsta”

        Kingpin’s a legacy character, he was one of the Saints. So is Yeti and Johnny Gat (the pre-order bonus character).

  • – Boring non-story…not sure why they thought the spin-off was a great idea
    – Repetitive missions
    – Sand-box completely boring and unimaginative
    – Art style Borderlandish Hit / Miss
    – Quite a short game compared to Saints Row series
    – Don’t really connect with any of the ‘Agents’… each quite boring really
    – Side mission probably more interesting than the actual campaign
    – Denuvo DRM… gg
    – Lazy level designs… Ark was… boring…

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