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Embracer Group reportedly canceled a new Red Faction game

A Red Factioncharacter standing in the foreground holding a gun with a building in the background.

A new report reveals that Embracer Group-owned developer Fishlabs had been working on a new Red Faction game, although the project was canceled ahead of layoffs.

According to an exclusive report from Rock Paper Shotgun published Thursday, the German developer, which most recently developed and released Chorus in 2021, was working on a number of projects, one of which was a Red Factions prototype.

After Chorus, the studio was working on two projects, code-named Project Black and Project White. The former was an original IP that involved a brother and sister who were looking to get rid of a strange corruption on another planet. However, the game had a troubled development, and it was canceled. The latter was considered a “side hustle,” with team members pitching a number of projects. One of these was a Red Faction game, similar to Red Faction: Guerilla from 2009, with wreckable environments and a more open playstyle.

However, there were some issues. While morale was “good,” according to the article’s sources, Embracer had shut down original Red Faction creator Volition in 2023 after it had just released a Saints Row soft reboot in 2022. Sources said developing a game after this felt “ghoulish.” In addition, the studio also pitched the game multiple times to its parent company, Plaion (formerly Koch Media, which is owned by Embracer Group) with increasingly elaborate tactics, including cosplay and fake trailers.

After an internal vote, the game was canceled, and Fishlabs was told to lay people off not involved with a current project. Now, the company is functioning as a support studio for other Embracer projects.

Fishlabs was hit with layoffs that gutted the company in 2023 — around 50 positions. While this appeared to be a response to Red Faction’s cancellation, it was also part of a larger effort by parent company Embracer Group following a reported $2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia-based Savvy Games Group that went south. Most recently, Embracer shut down Pieces Interactive, developer of the recent Alone in the Dark remake.

It’s also a part of a larger wave of layoffs and shutdowns throughout the video game industry that have affected major companies such as Microsoft, EA, and more.

As for the Red Faction franchise, there hasn’t been a game released since Red Faction: Armageddon in 2011. Volition acquired the rights to the IP, but with Volition now shut down, the possiblility of a future game is uncertain.

Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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