What you need to know
Shapeshifter Games is a new studio founded by ex-Volition devs who were laid off when Embracer Group closed Volition last year.
Shapeshifter Games is working with inXile Entertainment on the upcoming role-playing game Clockwork Revolution.
Revealed during the Xbox Games Showcase last year, Clockwork Revolution is currently in development exclusively for Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and Xbox Game Pass.
We've got a bit of good news as some developers laid off last year have founded a new studio and already have work lined up.
Newly-revealed Shapeshifter Games is working with inXile Entertaiment and Xbox Game Studios to provide co-development support on Clockwork Revolution, a role-playing revealed back during the Xbox Games Showcase 2023.
“The talented and experienced team that joined Shapeshifter has hit the ground running. We’ve had a lot of support from former Volitionites, and are truly grateful to inXile and Microsoft for the opportunity to assist with the development of a great new IP," says Shapeshifter Games studio head Matt Madigan.
Shapeshifter Games a team based out of Illinois in the U.S, founded by developers who worked at the now-defunct Volition. The team put the studio together following its closure last year by Embracer Group. Shapeshifter Games is a studio focused on co-development, aiding other studios that already have a project underway.
“I was very grateful to be able to help secure this new studio and get some truly amazing developers to help make Clockwork a reality. Co-dev groups are almost a given these days, but this one is special for us because of my long history with them going back to the Descent and FreeSpace games," says Brian Fargo, studio head of inXile Entertainment.
What does this mean for Clockwork Revolution?
Big games take hundreds upon hundreds of staff to make, so having Shapeshifter Games assist inXile Entertaiment can make the game's development go smoother, as long as the teams mesh together well and can easily communicate.
Co-development increasingly common across the gaming industry, and big games often take armies of support studios in order to get over the finish line.
Clockwork Revolution is a first-person role-playing game that allows players to change the future through decisions, time-travelling to instantly see the benefits or repercussions of choices. The game does not have a release date or release window, and is currently in development for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. As an Xbox first-party game, it'll be available in Xbox Game Pass day one.
Analysis: Some good news in a sea of layoffs
Outside of Volition, thousands of others in the gaming industry have lost their jobs in the past year, including (but not even remotely limited to) around 100 staff at Sony-owned Bungie, 530 jobs at Riot Games, 1,900 jobs at Microsoft-owned Activision Blizzard, and 97 at Eidos Montreal.
This news doesn't undo that damage, but it's something, and that's certainly worth celebrating right now. I'm rooting for the teams at inXile Entertainment and Shapeshifter Games, and hopefully Clockwork Revolution is just the first of many games that Shapeshifter will be contributing to.