Volition suffers layoffs after Agents of Mayhem's lackluster release

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

It appears that Deep Silver, publisher and parent company of Volition is none too happy with the performance of Agents of Mayhem. Kotaku reports that multiple sources have revealed that more than 30 Volition employees have been laid off including general manager Dan Cermak. The layoffs account for about 15 percent of the studio's entire workforce.

Agents of Mayhem launched just over month ago but has reportedly seen dismal sales. Eurogamer reported in August that the title was struggling on the UK sales charts.

“[Agents of Mayhem] has struggled to make much of an impact on the UK physical game sales chart, debuting fourth during a quiet time of year and against stale opposition.”

Solid sales figures are hard to nail down since Deep Silver does not make them public, but Steam Spy estimates owners of the game to be between 25,000 and 35,000. Regardless of what the actual totals are, Kotaku’s sources said that Deep Silver was “unhappy” with the numbers.

While the timing seems to indicate that poor reception was a driving factor in the cuts, this has yet to be confirmed by Deep Silver. It is not uncommon for game developers to disband teams that were hired to complete specific projects and this may be what occurred.

As to why the game has been so poorly received, it could be a matter of unmet expectations. While the action is set in the Saints Row universe, the game is not branded under the franchise name. If expectations were for the next Saints Row game, players and critics might have been let down.

Permalink to story.

 
D

davislane1

As to why the game has been so poorly received, it could be a matter of unmet expectations. While the action is set in the Saints Row universe, the game is not branded under the franchise name. If expectations were for the next Saints Row game, players and critics might have been let down.

I think this has more to do with a failure to communicate how the game is in any way unique. I remember watching the E3 material for this game and thinking, "...and?" There were some celebrity endorsements, if I recall correctly, but that was pretty much the only thing that stood out.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
As to why the game has been so poorly received, it could be a matter of unmet expectations. While the action is set in the Saints Row universe, the game is not branded under the franchise name. If expectations were for the next Saints Row game, players and critics might have been let down.

I think this has more to do with a failure to communicate how the game is in any way unique. I remember watching the E3 material for this game and thinking, "...and?" There were some celebrity endorsements, if I recall correctly, but that was pretty much the only thing that stood out.
I agree. This game became white noise almost immediately. I forgot the game had even come out.

A generic shooty them up really doesnt stand up on its own these days, short an amazing story ala SR3 or highly addictive coop/multiplayer mode.
 

Panda218

TS Evangelist
I was going to pick this game up for my girlfriend since she adores the Saints Row and GTA series, but it didnt seem worth the 60 dollars. I'll likely pick it up for her once its around 20 bucks. Until then she'll make her way through Just Cause 2.
 

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
As to why the game has been so poorly received, it could be a matter of unmet expectations. While the action is set in the Saints Row universe, the game is not branded under the franchise name. If expectations were for the next Saints Row game, players and critics might have been let down.

I think this has more to do with a failure to communicate how the game is in any way unique. I remember watching the E3 material for this game and thinking, "...and?" There were some celebrity endorsements, if I recall correctly, but that was pretty much the only thing that stood out.
Indeed. From what I understand, the game is actually pretty good, (with a few voice acting complaints) but it just didn't do anything big and special to grab people's attention. I remember seeing gameplay (quite a lot of it was available for some reason) and thinking it looked neat, but that was about it.
 

Alex Voinica

TS Booster
This was not remarkable from start.
I loved Red Faction and Saint's Row.
"As part of THQ's bankruptcy in January 2013, Volition and the Saints Row franchise were acquired by Koch Media, with future titles being published under its Deep Silver brand.[7] Volition's Red Faction and Summoner franchises were not acquired with the company by Deep Silver, instead being acquired by video game publisher and developer Nordic Games." - wikipedia
So basically Volition was part of Deep Silver, Red Faction license gone, Deep Silver wanting a new game and fast - we received this uninspired title that people who played it will forget soon and other will say "which game ?" and now, Deep Silver is firing them.
Well played Deep Silver, well played. A truly remarkable recipe for success you have there !