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Agents of Mayhem studio Volition suffers layoffs

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Agents of Mayhem developer Volition has laid off more than 30 of its roughly 200 employees, according to a Kotaku report. The reduction comes in the wake of a tepid response to the game, and while layoffs after a launch are unfortunately not unusual, this instance is particularly noteworthy because it reportedly includes general manager Daniel Cermak, who has been an executive at the studio for well over a decade. 

Exactly how Agents of Mayhem fared on the sales charts isn't known, but it's clearly not a big hit on the PC. SteamCharts indicates that there are currently only 80 people playing it on Steam, and that it's all-time peak was a little under 3700. Console numbers will obviously boost the total, but assuming the PC figure reflects the overall state of things, it's not good.   

Older games may still love Volition for the Freespace series, but Agents of Mayhem notwithstanding it's best-known these days for the Saints Row series, which started off as a GTA-flavored open-world tale of life on the streets before eventually moving to the more over-the-top experience of Saints Row: The Third. The studio was acquired by Deep Silver in 2013, following the bankruptcy of parent company and publisher THQ. 

Neither Volition nor Deep Silver have commented on the layoffs. I've reached out for more information and will update if and when I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.