THQ president Jason Rubin, formerly of Naughty Dog, had harsh things to say about Saints Row 3, strong sales or no. According to the executive, Saints Row studio is capable of making a game that “isn’t embarrassing.” Wielding giant purple dildos as weapons just doesn’t seem classy enough for the publisher.
Apparently that embarrassment isn’t enough to keep THQ from investing further into the series though. Saints Row 4 is coming and likely very soon. The publisher confirmed a sequel is imminent because it revealed that it’s recycling downloadable content that was originally intended for Saints Row 3 in the sequel.
Downloadable Saints Row 3 expansion “Enter the Dominatrix” will not be released as planned and will instead be incorporated into “The Next Great Sequel in the Saints Row Franchise.”
Based on Rubin’s comments about the expansion, it sounds like dominatrixes are less embarrassing than dildo combat. “When I looked at the ‘Enter the Dominatrix’ expansion in production at Volition, I was blown away by the ideas and desire to expand the fiction of the franchise,” said Rubin, “I asked the team what it could achieve given more time, more resources, and a broader scope for the project. We all agreed we wanted to play that game. When it comes to Saints Row, it’s clear out fans want bigger, better, and even more over the top, and that’s why ‘Enter the Dominatrix’ will now be incorporated into a vastly expanded, full-fledged sequel, scheduled for calendar 2013.”
THQ has a love, hate relationship with Saints Row at the moment. On the one hand, Saints Row: The Third saved the company’s fourth quarter earnings from being a complete embarrassment. The 4 million in sales for that sequel helped the company turn in quarterly earnings around $30 million over previous estimates. Not too shabby. It didn’t help the company enough though. In the weeks since the end of THQ’s fiscal year in April, the company has lost one of its most lucrative licenses with the Ultimate Fighting Championship jumping to EA, it was almost delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange, and its president resigned to be replaced by Jason Rubin.
The decision to delay Saints Row 3 content in favor of a new sequel is a savvy one for Rubin and Volition. The company expects the lack of the DLC this year to drop fiscal 2013 earnings by $20 million, but it’ll keep a strong earner in the wings for next year when the company’s best hopes for recovery will come to fruition. Saints Row 3 won THQ much needed commercial and critical success, and it’s wise to nurture that success, embarrassing or not.