In August, Agents of Mayhem launched to a middling response. Rather poor reception and sales led to almost immediate layoffs across the studio at Volition. Of the 200 people that worked at Volition before the layoffs, more than 30 were let go, including the general manager.
Though it is always sad to see a studio have layoffs due to underwhelming results, it is unfortunately a common occurrence in the video game industry. However, just shortly after the layoffs, it has been revealed that a key person in the past of Volition has returned to shape the studio's future.
Former Producer Jim Boone has recently came back to Volition (via GamesIndustryBiz) to serve as the studio development director. Jim previously worked for Volition for more than 20 years, seeing it through many publishers and changes from its split from Parallax to the creation of its strongest franchises.
Seeing the company through the launches of all of its most successful and popular games from Freespace to Saints Row to Red Faction and more. After such a long and storied history with Volition, Jim departed a year and a half ago for Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends.
It is no coincidence then that only after a brief departure from the Saints Row studio that he has returned just after studio layoffs. Jim Boone spoke about his return, saying:
...I missed them. I loved what I was doing when I left. I kept thinking about what the guys were doing, slaving away on Agents of Mayhem... and it felt kind of weird that I wasn't part of that. So being able to come back, and work with everyone on the next step was pretty exciting for me. It felt like something I couldn't turn down.
He goes on to note that the biggest thing he has learned from his time at Riot Games is "the positive culture" it has there among its employees, and he hopes to bring that back with him to Volition. As the studio development director, Jim Boone will play an important role in shaping the company as it moves forward past the unfortunate Agents of Mayhem reception.