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"It's been five months since the closure of Volition, but I'm grateful to post that a group of us have re-formed as Shapeshifter Games."

Chris Kerr

January 30, 2024

2 Min Read
The Shapeshifter logo on a black background
Image via Shapeshifter

Veterans from Saints Row developer Volition have regrouped five months after the studio was scrapped by Embracer to form Shapeshifter Games.

As spotted by TechRaptor, the company broke cover on Linkedin and described itself as a "co-development studio" aiming to "create a more sustainable environment for developers to do their best work."

Shapeshifter said it's already working with a "top publisher" on an upcoming franchise and is looking to expand.

"Shapeshifter is a new co-development studio that was started by pulling together a group of experienced developers from Volition," reads the post. "Shapeshifter is always searching for talented developers to help us grow. Please reach out, we would love to hear from you."

Shapeshifter Games, co-development, and hope for the industry

Rob Loftus, formerly principle producer at Volition, is overseeing Shapeshifter as studio director. Loftus acknowledged the industry is still going through the wringer, but expressed hope that more studios like Shapeshifter might arise as a result.

"It's been five months since the closure of Volition, but I'm grateful to post that a group of us have re-formed as Shapeshifter Games," he wrote. "The industry climate remains tough and I know I'm fortunate to reconnect with colleagues and turn the page on a new adventure. I'm hopeful for more groups like us and for the brighter days ahead."

Loftus is joined at Shapeshifter by former Volition devs including Alex Cline (designer), David Andsager (software engineer), Matt Madigan (studio head), Brian Traficante (creative director), Darren Dienst (designer), Chad Dodson (level designer), Bryan Dillow (designer), and Jeff Touchstone (level designer).

Volition closed its doors after 30 years in August 2023. The studio was essentially bulldozed by a restructuring program enacted by parent company Embracer Group, with the Swedish conglomerate looking to cut costs after bringing its free-wheeling M&A era to an abrupt end.

Embracer has shuttered or downsized numerous studios as part of those restructuring efforts, including 3D Realms, Slipgate, Lost Boys Interactive, Campfire Cabal, Free Radical, Fishlabs, and Eidos Montreal.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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