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Volition Layoffs Reported

Over 30 employees were laid off this week from Volition, reports Kotaku, where they say the casualties include general manager Dan Cermak. They have not heard back from Volition owner Deep Silver about this, so it is unconfirmed, but they say their information comes from three sources. According to these informants, this move was prompted by the disappointing performance of the recently released Agents of Mayhem, an action game intended to expand the Saints Row series. According to the story, the developer had around 200 staff prior to this.
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18. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 29, 2017, 10:09 warmbluelasers
 
Orogogus wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 02:17:
I can't speak to Star Citizen, but I mentioned Elite -- I think it's more of a space trucker than a shooter, and I don't think an X-Wing/Wing Commander/Freespace game with its kind of action would go over very well. It's designed more towards the mouse's strength, precision shooting, than towards flying, while the old style space action games leaned more heavily on targets suddenly swinging behind or in front of you, with way more giant turns to re-orient on your target.

This seems to be an anecdotal playstyle difference. The combat my group gets into with Elite has been very mobile with intense furballs. I've done those furballs with both KBM and a flight set. Star Citizen as well. I maintain that KBM is very playable and competitive, and it is so because developers figured out better ways to integrate KBM instead of just saying "you need a joystick to play."
 
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17. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 29, 2017, 02:17 Orogogus
 
warmbluelasers wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 00:11:
Having grown up when Wing Commander and X-Wing/Tie Fighter were released, the control issue isn't an issue anymore. Both Elite and Star Citizen are incredibly playable with KBM to the point it's a matter of preference. Thrustmaster sells very affordable sticks from a basic throw-away stick at $30 to a full stick/throttle/pedals for $140 (with Amazon Prime).

I think the lack of resurgence is a combination of today's gamers (not capable of 3D spatial sense) and big publishers playing it safe.

I can't speak to Star Citizen, but I mentioned Elite -- I think it's more of a space trucker than a shooter, and I don't think an X-Wing/Wing Commander/Freespace game with its kind of action would go over very well. It's designed more towards the mouse's strength, precision shooting, than towards flying, while the old style space action games leaned more heavily on targets suddenly swinging behind or in front of you, with way more giant turns to re-orient on your target. I think War Thunder encapsulates this if you compare its arcade and realistic modes. It's not that developers have gotten better about designing mouse controls, they've intentionally redesigned the gameplay to make it more amenable.

I don't think the affordability of the stick is a major factor. There have been good $30 sticks for a long time now. But they're only really good for flying games. For pretty much everything else a gamepad is more relaxing to hold and puts more controls within reach.

I also doubt yesterday's gamers were really all that superior to today's. I feel like the majority of gamers always wanted to be playing multiplayer FPSes, it just took a while for the technology to get there. Once it did, a lot of genres became a lot less viable.
 
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16. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 29, 2017, 00:11 warmbluelasers
 
Orogogus wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 14:42:
I think it's iffy. Outside of mouse-flyers like Freelancer and Everspace, space shooters lean towards joysticks, which most people don't have. You can soften them to the point where a gamepad works, but then a lot of the people who do have sticks throw a fit. Elite is KBAM playable, but I feel it's barely a shooter; the shooting is way the hell better than the old games, but you probably couldn't make a Freespace or X-Wing game based on it.

I have a joystick and I love space games, but I'm inclined to think that the math probably just doesn't add up unless you engage in crowdfunding like Star Citizen and Elite, letting you milk your whale core for way, way more than the MSRP.

Having grown up when Wing Commander and X-Wing/Tie Fighter were released, the control issue isn't an issue anymore. Both Elite and Star Citizen are incredibly playable with KBM to the point it's a matter of preference. Thrustmaster sells very affordable sticks from a basic throw-away stick at $30 to a full stick/throttle/pedals for $140 (with Amazon Prime).

I think the lack of resurgence is a combination of today's gamers (not capable of 3D spatial sense) and big publishers playing it safe.
 
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15. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 18:07 Osc8r
 
Nullity wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 12:44:
Agents of Mayhem would have been an insta-buy for myself and my friends they wouldn't have made the stupid decision to leave out co-op. This is like the perfect game for it too.

I would image that's a big reason for the low sales.

True, i would have at least tried it if it had co-op...although all the reviews seems to suggest it's super linear and super repetitive. So probably a good thing they left it out and saved me the $.
 
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14. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 14:51 ItBurn
 
Good space sims are stupid-rare, but if you're looking for one, you might want to try Everspace. It's incredibly solid for what it is. It's a linear rogue-lite though. The combat and controls are great, but it gets really repetitive a bit too fast. I got enough fun out of it for my money.  
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13. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 14:42 Orogogus
 
I think it's iffy. Outside of mouse-flyers like Freelancer and Everspace, space shooters lean towards joysticks, which most people don't have. You can soften them to the point where a gamepad works, but then a lot of the people who do have sticks throw a fit. Elite is KBAM playable, but I feel it's barely a shooter; the shooting is way the hell better than the old games, but you probably couldn't make a Freespace or X-Wing game based on it.

I have a joystick and I love space games, but I'm inclined to think that the math probably just doesn't add up unless you engage in crowdfunding like Star Citizen and Elite, letting you milk your whale core for way, way more than the MSRP.
 
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12. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 14:10 Vall Forran
 
Descent is not Freespace 2. And you're talking about sales in 1999. This is 2017 when people can't get enough space games. A single player space shooter sim won't make Overwatch $$$, but you wouldn't need to invest anywhere remotely close to that amount of development overhead.  
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11. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 12:44 Nullity
 
Agents of Mayhem would have been an insta-buy for myself and my friends they wouldn't have made the stupid decision to leave out co-op. This is like the perfect game for it too.

I would image that's a big reason for the low sales.
 
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10. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 10:02 Suppa7
 
christheshitter wrote on Sep 27, 2017, 21:04:
Time to do Freespace 3 eh? Haven't we waited enough already?

Freespace 2 sold poorly, so FS3 is a non starter. The people who worked on Freespace / Descent are doing overload right now.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/448850/
 
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9. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 09:40 VaranDragon
 
They could have just made an awesome new space sim (with a brand new IP, no need for a freespace license).

However I doubt any of the original Freespace developers, writers or producers are even working there any more.
 
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8. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 07:04 Beamer
 
ItBurn wrote on Sep 28, 2017, 01:04:
Their new game was badly explained, badly marketed, almost invisible and ... puzzling. How could someone think it had a chance to do good? I wouldn't want to be the person to blame for choosing/green-lighting this project.

Yeah, I was thinking about this. I'm a big SR fan, and while I'm actually not in the mood for that style of game at all, this should have been high on my radar for when I was. But it wasn't.

On one hand, the game makes perfect sense. The Volition team had basically done just SR games for a decade, so they were probably a bit burnt out. They wanted something somewhat new to stretch their creative muscles before diving into SR5. SR4 added some weird abilities, so making a game more around those abilities makes sense, and sounds fun - Saints Row with super powers? Yes, please! And, let's be honest, superheroes are all the rage now, without any real superhero open city games. On paper, I get all this.

But what came out... let's start with the name. I can see how "Agents of Mayhem" worked for them - it communicates that they're part of an organization, and they're chaotic. Great. But it's so generic. It sounds either like a generic, forgotten mid-90s game, or like one of those endless generic mobile games that rely on 1% of gamers paying 1000s a month and the rest waiting for counters to go down. It inspires nothing. Then there was the marketing, which seemed to be around "you're someone new and you have powers" rather than who the characters are or what the powers are. Or what you'd do. Or where you'd do it. Lastly, is anyone really clamoring for an open world superhero game? They were basically everywhere from 2005, with Spider-Man and Hulk games doing it, to the launch of the PS4, with the new Infamous. We haven't had one in a while, that I can remember, and the only one I know is coming up is Crackdown, which at least promises something new with a somewhat destructible city. I feel like we've done so much there you need to really bring something new and innovative to the table, and they didn't communicate well that they did.
 



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7. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 02:26 Osc8r
 
The only person who should be fired is the muppet who decided to make this crap instead of another Saints Row.

Oh, and their marketing department.
 
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6. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 01:16 Linksil
 
So it's basically like the first Saints Row Game? I know I didn't hear about it until it was being released on a tuesday.  



Munching On: FF14 storyline, SAO PS4, Horizon.
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5. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 28, 2017, 01:04 ItBurn
 
Their new game was badly explained, badly marketed, almost invisible and ... puzzling. How could someone think it had a chance to do good? I wouldn't want to be the person to blame for choosing/green-lighting this project.  
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4. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 27, 2017, 21:54 Burrito of Peace
 
Here's how to print money, Volition:

1. Another Saints Row game but one that isn't absolutely fucking stupid superhero clown powers.

2. Buy the IP and then make Freespace 3 that is not an MMO, MOBA, or anything other than an awesome, straightforward, singleplayer campaign.
 
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"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai
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3. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 27, 2017, 21:53 eRe4s3r
 
christheshitter wrote on Sep 27, 2017, 21:04:
Time to do Freespace 3 eh? Haven't we waited enough already?

Uh, when THQ went down, the IP went from Volition to Interplay, and the "auction" that happened later on was bundled, and nobody apparently won the bid for Interplays IP.

So neither Deep Silver nor Volition own the Freespace IP
 
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2. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 27, 2017, 21:50 Tipsy McStagger
 
christheshitter wrote on Sep 27, 2017, 21:04:
Time to do Freespace 3 eh? Haven't we waited enough already?

These idiots could have made a fortune off freespace 3 in the age of whales and space sims.
 
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1. Re: Volition Layoffs Reported Sep 27, 2017, 21:04 christheshitter
 
Time to do Freespace 3 eh? Haven't we waited enough already?  
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