Good (or bad?) news for Saints Row fans: Deep Silver’s Volition, the studios that created the beloved Saints Row series, will become part of Gearbox after the massive disappointment that is the Saints Row reboot.
Despite just dropping a big update to fix co-op issues and stability and promising that it was just the start to the updates that would follow up for the game, things will supposedly be left in a hazy state after this move. But this doesn’t mean that Volition is abolished; it’s just that they’ll be under Gearbox, who publishes games for several other studios. For the record, the reboot was published by Plaion, which is one of Embracer Group’s subsidiaries. Management of the entirety of Volition and the Saints Row franchise is what’s being transferred.
Lars Wingefors, CEO of Embracer, put out a statement on the event. Though sales of SR2022 apparently met expectations, the abhorrent reception left him disappointed; but that’s to be expected when the social media manager berated its older playerbase and acted as if players would like it.
If you missed out on the whole fiasco, Saints Row started out as what many called a “GTA clone,” as it had a similar focus on gangsters and gang wars like GTA San Andreas, which was released around the same time (though in that logic, the entire Sonic series would be a Mario clone. See the problem here?). But what set them apart was how they played; San Andreas had more realistic physics and quite the wild story, while the original Saints Row had wackier gameplay, with its plot being much more grounded (and somewhat serious, though it had its humorous moments as well). Onward to Saints Row 2 and it had a darker story, still keeping its gang-related themes. The first and second became community-favorites, being the most realistic, fun-to-play, and well-written games of the franchise. SR3 came out and ditched the previous themes, presumably to set themselves apart from the GTA series. The community did not take it too well. The fourth came out and it was a complete departure from what it was, dividing the fanbase further; even more so with the DLCs.
Then came Agents of Mayhem, a spinoff with some relations to Saints Row. The game was somewhat mediocre, and didn’t really perform quite well in sales. But when a new title for the Saints Row series was announced, fans begged Volition to return to what made the franchise great in the first place, but alas, the reboot showed otherwise. Appealing to hipsters, Gen Zs, and.. We’re frankly confused to whom this appeals to. It retains some gameplay aspects of the SR franchise, but the story successfully broke all expectations of the fanbase. In an undesirable manner, sadly. The reboot chose the plot of the struggle of high-schoolers paying off their debts and hipsters instead of hood gangsters, while Volition’s social media manager tried to fight fire with fire, only to end up with the game’s current critical reception. Bravo.
What’ll come next of Volition is unknown, and perhaps it’s for the better. With the failure that is the reboot, we could only hope that the staff and Gearbox can learn from their past and learn to follow what the community demands (if they even have any plans to release anymore games, let alone another entry to the SR franchise), not.. Whoever they were pandering to for the reboot.
p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Volition)