Connect with world renowned investors

14 - 16 April 2021

Join the event

Volition: Saints Row's tone doesn't hurt sales

Senior producer Jim Boon compares "juvenile elements" to The Hangover

Volition senior producer Jim Boon has defended the risque humour present in its Saints Row series, suggesting the tone is similar to films like The Hangover and actually helps sales.

"Ultimately I don't think that Saint Row's tone gets in the way of bigger sales," he told OXM.

"If anything, I think our tone is an element of our success. Saints Row is quite unlike anything else out there, and I think gamers crave unique experiences - I know I do. We have a lot of passionate fans that love Saints Row, so I think we are striking the right chord.

He added that former THQ president Jason Rubin had been "extremely supportive" of Saints Row 4. Last year Rubin made some comments about the series that were interpreted by some as negative.

"Why couldn't that be a Red Dead Redemption or a Skyrim?" Rubin told The Verge. "I look at that title and I say, 'Who cares what it is and why it got to be what it is? From that team we can make something that isn't embarrassing."

Boon said far from feeling embarrassed Rubin "would often offer ideas for the game, and those ideas were never suggestions about changing our tone. He was a fan of the series and loved what we were doing."

In fact Boon says the "juvenile elements" of the game would be missed by fans if they were gone, whether the fans says so or not.

"Based on the overall reception and sales of SR3, I strongly suspect many people enjoy this aspect of SR, even if some may not want to admit feeling that way. Thinking of a movie series like The Hangover - people love the humor but you might not want to discuss some of the finer moments of those movies with your mom, for example."

Volition Inc was acquired by Koch Media after the demise of THQ earlier this year, with the company bidding $28.1 million to secure Saints Row and Metro: Last Light.

"It wasn't about a free ride, it was a real desire to get those two assets," Koch CEO Klemens Kundratitz told GamesIndustry International.

"Were there other things of interest? Yes, but in the end we got exactly what we wanted."

Connect with world renowned investors

14 - 16 April 2021

Join the event

More stories

Koch Media acquires Vertigo Games for €50m

The Dutch VR publisher joins Embracer Group, in a deal that could rise a further €65m over ten years

By Matthew Handrahan

THQ Nordic and Koch Media trade IPs

Franchise swaps put Red Faction and Risen series closer to their original developers; Painkiller, Sacred, and more change hands

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (5)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 7 years ago
I loved saints row the third. i cant wait for saints row 4.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
SR3 was a great game, though I thought at the time they went a little too far towards the freaky side. As in, there was utter daffiness in SR2, but it wasn't the main focus of the game. SR3 was so wacky that the "normal" moments were the weird ones. It was the difference between enjoying a delicious cupcake, and having hundreds of them shoved down your throat.

That said, I don't mind the overall tone; there's a place for Saints Row just like their is for a more serious game like Skyrim.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 7 years ago
I think it was originally Cliffy B that said Saints Row's tone would make it less mainstream, quoting it as "that game with the dildo in it". And to this day I still think they should use that mantra as a future marketing line...
"Saints Row 4--Bigger, Badder and Still Rocking a Mean Ass Dildo"

And here was the story in question:

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 23rd April 2013 12:37am

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (5)
Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 7 years ago
I say the tone is boosting sales for SR, certainly wouldn't say it's hurting it considering I know a lot of GTA fans that used to like the franchise for its "off the wall" shock factor back in the day and silliness are getting put off by the serious tone that Rockstar seem to be putting onto it.

I mean I grew up with the original top down GTAs and GTA III sealed it when you could summon a damn tank and cause mayhem for hours on end.

GTA IV, I completed 25% of the campaign, got bored and annoyed the Police for 2 hours, then didn't touch the game again until friends wanted to jump into party mode.

Saints Row I first assumed was cloning GTA and SR 1 certainly went that route but it seemed the devs went "Screw that we'll do our own stuff" with SR2 and funnily enough it sold like hotcakes and gained a sequel that further boosted sales and put the name Saints Row out there.

I certainly enjoyed SR3, especially via co-op, in fact I wished they introduced 3-4 player co-op into SR3. Sure the dildo bat lost its joke factor after awhile but I'll tell you now, I cannot explain it but DDTing grannies and surfboarding on mascots never loses the giggle factor.

The only concern is the same one any "tongue in cheek" product has, which is, once you set the bar high, how do you go over it without hitting the "too stupid" or offensive side of things. Different things offend or become unfunny for different people, so no matter what they do, they will either win or lose fans or even both.

The humour, chaos and freedom are all present in SR3, just how it should be in a sandbox type game. As long as they stick to their guns, I can't see SR4 sales tanking but rather boosting once again.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rogier Voet IT Consultant 7 years ago
I love SR3 because it provides fun compared to GTA IV which was not fun at all. What SR does that it's a sandbox game with lot'sof cool stuff todo. To many game developers make great looking gaming worlds but forget to make it fun to be there.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.