Four years after bringing fans an over the top, sci-fi inspired world with Saints Row IV, Volition released its first new IP in quite a while with Agents of Mayhem. Set in a near future world, Agents is a third-person, open-world shooter that let players select three unique characters and swap between them during gameplay. Unfortunately, the spiritual successor has received less than favorable reviews from critics and fans alike since it launched last month and as a result, the Red Faction and Saints Row studio has been hit by layoffs.
The studio laid off over 30 of its 200 employees including general manager Dan Cermak. The layoffs have come about a month after the release of Agents of Mayhem, showcasing that the open-world shooter hasn’t managed to find an audience when compared to the likes of Volition’s Saints Row franchise. While Agents of Mayhem publisher Deep Silver has yet to comment, David Payne, a former weapons artist at Volition, has already confirmed the news via his Twitter account.
— //davidpayne (@pavid_dayne) September 27, 2017
Sources indicate that these layoffs come from Deep Silver and are a direct result of the disappointing sales numbers the game has seen since it launched. Specific numbers were not provided but according to the August 2017 NPD data, Agents of Mayhem appeared in 16th place behind a number of popular games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Madden NFL 18, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Recent history has been fairly turbulent for the developer once its former parent company, THQ, filed for bankruptcy back in 2013. Deep Silver stepped in to purchase the studio at auction, though its last two games, Saints Row: Gat out of Hell and Agents of Mayhem, have unfortunately not seen the same levels of success as the previous two mainline Saints Row games. Common criticisms of Agents of Mayhem point to a lack of co-op mode, a traditional option for past Volition games, and confusion over whether or not it tied into the Saints Row franchise.
Game Rant would like to wish the best of luck to all those affected
Agents of Mayhem is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.