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] 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.