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Local video game company here to stay

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 20:02

Volition Video Game Design

Photo courtesy of Volition Inc.

Volition offices will remain at the corner of Neil and Main Streets after being bought out by Koch Media.

Volition Video Game Design Company

Photo courtesy of Volition Inc.

Volition offices will remain at the corner of Neil and Main Streets after being bought out by Koch Media.

Local video game company Volition was recently sold by parent company THQ as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Volition was sold to a company known as Koch Media.

THQ had been having problems financially ever since the commercial failure of their uDraw tablet. The tablet saw some success on the Wii but when the company tried to market it to the PS3 and Xbox 360, it was a financial failure.

Koch recently released a press release in regards to its acquisition of Volition.

“’These franchises hold a special place in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves exceptional video games,’ said Geoff Mulligan, COO of Deep SilverInc. ‘We’re thrilled to usher in a new era for these franchises and are proud to welcome the visionaries and talented forces at Volition on board.’”

The employees of Volition have a lot to prepare for in the coming months. Dan Cermak, the general manager at Volition and employee of 10 years, had this to say about the company being acquired by Koch Media.

“At the time of acquisition we did not know much about Koch Media, we knew they distributed THQ games in Spain and Italy and they did other distribution but we did not know much else other than they were the publisher of Dead Island through their Game Label:  Deep Silver,” Cermak said.

“Having met them and talked to them extensively-their CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz and their CFO Dr. Reinhard Gratl came to the offices-we were relieved to see how much we had in common and how much they enjoyed our games and we look forward to working with them. “

With news of Volition being bought-out by a new company there were understandably some concerns that the firm would be relocated.

Many employees of Volition were relieved to learn that the company will be staying in Champaign according to both Dan and Senior Programmer Scott Kircher.

Kircher, an employee of Volition for over five years has ties to Parkland College, as he is married to Physics Professor Keiko Kircher. The programmer had concerns about relocation and other factors during the buyout.

“During THQ’s bankruptcy proceedings I was a little concerned about my family’s ability to stay in Champaign, since the outcome was far from certain. We were reasonably confident that someone would buy Volition if Clearlake was unsuccessful in buying all of THQ,” Kircher explained.

“But we did not know who that entity would be. However, after being acquired by Koch Media and hearing what their CEO and CFO had to say, I am optimistic about Volition’s future under Deep Silver.”

Koch Media acquired rights to Volition and their Saints Row intellectual property. They did not, however, purchase the rights to other games made by Volition.

Kircher explained the situation as follows, “Koch Media bought the Saints Row intellectual property along with Volition itself. However, they did not buy any of the other IPs that we have created in the past.” Kircher said.

“THQ still owns those-for example, Red Faction-and they may be sold to someone else at some later point in time.”

The company is still strong and has goals and plans in place as it moves forward. Although changes are inevitable, the group is still as strong as ever.

Cermak had this to say about the future of the company, “I expect to continue to make console games for the core gaming audience.”

“We have a strength in regards to developing for the open-world gaming genre and we will continue to make games for that genre, including for the Saints Row franchise,” he explained. 

The company is also known for hiring local people to test their video games before they’re released. According to both Cermak and Kircher this will still be happening even after the buyout.

Kircher had this to say about the future of Volition under Koch Media, “I am excited about the fact that Volition now has more stable financial backing and we can continue to make the kinds of awesome core games we are known for.”

For further information on Volition, including how to sign up to test their future games, visit www.volition-inc.com.

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