Skip to main content

Former Volition devs form Shapeshifter Games, work with Xbox Game Studios

A new support studio
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Some of the developers formerly working at Volition, which was closed by Embracer Group in 2023, have formed a new support studio called Shapeshifter Games, as spotted by Techraptor. Based in Champaign, Illinois, the company will focus on assisting other developers with their work on big titles – a job listing specifically mentions open-world games, Unreal Engine 5, and console development as areas of expertise the studio wants to provide.

According to one employee’s LinkedIn profile, the newly formed company has already landed a gig with Xbox Game Studios, assisting on an unspecified project.

Volition’s last released game was the reboot of Saints Row, which turned out to be a commercial miss and likely sent the studio to the top of Embracer Group’s long list of cost-cutting victims – a list that just got even longer with layoffs at Eidos Montreal.

Saints Row artwork.

Saints Row ended up being Volition's last project.

Key personnel from Volition at Shapeshifter Games includes Matt Madigan, who has become the studio head, Rob Loftus, Shapeshifter’s studio director, and Brian Traficante, who took on a role as creative director.

“Our goal is to grow and assist developers and publishers by providing a sustainable workforce model. It has been great reconnecting with former colleagues and a great opportunity to help others who have been affected by the industry,” Madigan wrote in his announcement post revealing the studio.

An official statement on the studio’s own page said: “Shapeshifter is a new co-development studio that was started by pulling together a group of experienced developers from Volition. 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.”

2023 has seen the worst job losses in the gaming industry in recent memory, and unfortunately 2024 will seemingly continue this trend with massive layoffs at Microsoft and Riot Games, among others.