Volition founder leaving company

Mike Kulas stepping down after 15 years in charge of studio behind Saints Row, Red Faction series; Dan Cermak appointed new general manager.

It's turning out to be a big year for THQ's Volition, Inc. The studio is launching its fourth Red Faction game next month, finishing its third Saints Row title this holiday season, and bidding its very first employee farewell next week.

Volition's head is leaving of his own volition.

"Mike Kulas, GM of our Volition studio in Champaign, Illinois, has retired from Volition and THQ effective May 2," a THQ representative confirmed for GameSpot. "We are thankful for Mike's many years of dedication, and while we are saddened by his departure, we look forward to the next generation of leadership under longtime THQ and Volition employee Dan Cermak who will step into the role of GM."

The news was first reported by the Champaign, Illinois-based News-Gazette. Kulas told the paper the decision to leave was his own and isn't tied to any specific event. He has no immediate professional plans lined up post-Volition and plans to remain in the central Illinois city. Last month, he was in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference to represent Volition on a roundtable press panel.

Volition was Kulas' second successful startup studio. He originally cofounded Descent developer Parallax Software with Matt Toschlog in 1993. In 1996, the pair split Parallax into a pair of offshoot studios, with Kulas creating Volition and Toschlog establishing Outrage Entertainment. Both studios would eventually be acquired by THQ (Volition in 2000, and Outrage in 2002), although the publisher eventually shuttered Outrage.

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Discussion

13 comments
X-RS
X-RS

well if hes retiring HE EARNED IT!!! if not... ill be looking forward to your next game good sir *tilts hat*

Majkic666
Majkic666

Mike Kulas is a legend in my eyes, Saints Row = Epic and Red Faction = Great!

acer_062
acer_062

Great man & excellent games. Descent was a huge hit in my collection.

LgacyX6
LgacyX6

Mike Kulas... I wish you nothing but the best of luck.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

Can't wait for Saints Row 3. I hope they keep the Coop campaign mode in tact and as easy to use as it was in Saints Row 2. That was one of the few things I think SR2 had on GTAIV. It is just a crap load of fun to run around a city with your friends and do the missions and side activities and cause general havoc.

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

@Crono21 Unfortunately, I suspect a Volition developed Freespace 3 was always wishful thinking. Cash strapped Interplay undoubtedly would have been more than interested in selling the IP to THQ if they had any interest. @blackace They are developing several games. inSANE, a horror game that they've teamed up with the movie director Guillermo Del Toro to make (announced for 2013), Saint's Row 3 (Q3 2011), and Red Faction Armageddon (Early June).

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Good for him; I remember playing Descent on my 60mhz intel computer and enjoying the hell out of it. Hope he has a peaceful, enjoyable retirement. Thanks for all the games over the years!

Crono21
Crono21

I have a bad feeling this hurts any chance for a Freespace 3... :(

sc3252_basic
sc3252_basic

I was always hoping they would return to space simulation games while BSG was running. Oh well, we still have the masterpieces of our time in FS1 and 2.

Crimsader
Crimsader

This doesn't mean any good to Saints Row 3.

pokecharm
pokecharm

what I would not give to be able to afford to retire...good for him, but isn't that the third exex we've seen drop in a short period of time...curious.

blackace
blackace

Well that's not good. At least the key developers are still onboard though. I wonder what Volition is currently working on. Is it another Red Fraction game?