Embracer Group shut down longtime Saints Row developer Volition Games last year as part of a larger purge of its studios after a planned $2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia-backed Savvy Games Group fell through in 2023. Just yesterday, Embracer Group canceled a Deus Ex game in development at Eidos-Montréal and laid off 97 people at the studio. Now, a group of former Volition Games veteran developers have formed a new studio called Shapeshifter Games, as first reported by TechRaptor.
“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. Shapeshifter is always searching for talented developers to help us grow. Please reach out; we would love to hear from you.”
While that post remains secretive on the “top publisher” Shapeshifter Games is working with, one developer at the studio, former Ascendant Studios principal lighting artist, AJ Nelson, might have let slip that it’s Xbox. Under the experience section of Nelson’s LinkedIn page, it says “co-developing on an Xbox Games Studio project.”
Shapeshifter Games is headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, and led by studio head Matt Madigan. Former Volition Games principal producer, Rob Luftus, is Shapeshifter Games’ studio director, while former Volition Games franchise creative director, Brian Traficante, is this new studio’s creative director.
TechRaptor notes that Shapeshifter Games says the studio specializes in open world games, Unreal Engine 5, console development, and co-development.
While last year was plagued with layoffs, with 2024 unfortunately following suit, it’s nice to see some developers from the now-closed Volition Games create a new studio to start fresh at.
What kind of game do you hope Shapeshifter Games makes first? Let us know in the comments below!