A group of Volition veterans have teamed up to form a new co-development studio to assist in creating AAA games.
Named Shapeshifter Games, the studio will “partner with world class developers and publishers,” offering experience from the veterans’ time creating open-world as well as “character action games.” Before it was shut down, Volition was well known for developing the Saints Row games, including the 2022 reboot, which Brian Traficante, one of the people now at Shapeshifter, was the director of.
“Shapeshifter is a new co-development studio that was started by pulling together a group of experienced developers from Volition,” a post on the studio’s LinkedIn page reads. “We are focused on AAA game development. One of the goals of the company is to create a more sustainable environment for developers to do their best work.
“We're already hard at work with a top publisher on their next great IP and looking to grow,” it continues. “Shapeshifter is always searching for talented developers to help us grow. Please reach out, we would love to hear from you.”
According to the company's LinkedIn page, Shapeshifter’s studio head is Matt Madigan, while others at the studio include Rob Loftus, AJ Nelson, and Jeff Touchstone.
Volition, which was previously owned by Embracer Group, was shut down last August as part of Embracer’s enormous restructuring program. In a statement released at the time, the developer said that the “difficult decision” had been made in order to “strengthen Embracer and maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry.”
This same restructuring program saw over 900 members of staff from Embracer-owned companies made redundant before the end of September 2023, and it didn’t stop there. Before the end of the year, Timesplitters studio Free Radical Design was shut down, and more layoffs were reported at Fishlabs, New World Interactive, and more. Just this week, Eidos-Montréal confirmed 97 layoffs from across its support services, development teams, and administration demonstrating how widespread industry layoffs are generally now.
It’s not been confirmed what Shapeshifter is working on, so we’ll just have to stay tuned.
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Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.