Saints Row is part of a fast growing series in the gaming industry. It was started as an open world crime game where the player’s created character gets involved with a gang called the Saints. As the story progresses into Saints Row 2, that same character becomes the leader of the gang, being one of the most ruthlessly violent characters around. With the releases of Saints Row: The Third, player expected that same aggressive feeling. Fans craved the brutal character that they created, that they became. In order to attract a new fan based developers, Volition, and publisher, THQ, decided to take this serious yet humorous franchise in a new direction. While fans of the series longed for the next installment of the Saints Row series following how the games were in its past, what they were given was something totally different; a funny, cheesy storyline and so much outlandish content that the game was about making a fool of yourself more so then being the well respected kingpin as the player was before.
Unfortunately, this created a problem. Saints Row: The Third was advertised with this unbelievable, outlandish content which lead players with that taste to the new game. The newly acquired audience fell in love with the ridicules game while the fans felt betrayed. This of course created a problem, where nearly half of the fans wish for the series to go back to its roots; to create another game with respect and humor when appropriate, while the other half of Saints Row’s fan base wants more stupidity and more crazy content. These are two different groups who have completely different viewpoints about the same game. This put direct conflict on the developers; while the next installment of the series is in development, which kind of game do they make to please which set of fans?
Dealing with the issue will pose to be one of the toughest challenges that a gaming company can face. They are the kind of people who are constantly working hard to please their fans, they want each and every person to love the game but that is impossible, especially in the predicament that they are placed in. Saints Row 4 had been confirmed to be in production, fans of the series past already outraged with the announcement that the “Enter the Dominatrix” expansion pack is going to be part of Saints Row 4 instead of an addition to The Third. They are already worried that with the content announced for that pack that Saint Row will never have the same gangster feel while the other group of fans can’t wait to get their hands on Saints Row 4 because they wished to have been able to buy that expansion pack. This is a problem that is being highly stressed in the creation of Saints Row 4. Who to please and who not to please; they both want something so different. So what’s the best thing they can do?
Although no content has been officially announced for Saints Row 4 besides the incorporation of “Enter the Dominatrix”, it is believed that Saints Row 4 will have to keep a dramatic storyline while keeping outlandish activities. Even though hardcore fans wish to see the return of activities like fight club and street racing; it is likely that the more bizarre activities will be included in Saints Row 4 because activates along with weapons are what is most appealing to the news fan base. What will be likely kept for the previous fan base is a strong Saints Row feeling story. In Saints Row: The Third the story was far less violent, harder to follow and nowhere near believable. What would be nice is if they brought back some of the ruthless violence and some of the old characters in the next installment; that would please any fan of the previous games. It is going to be a very tough act to balance but with the right incorporations they can end up pleasing both sides to the argument.
Think about it this way, if they did make a more serious storyline again the nut cases that love Saints Row: The Thirds insanity can incorporate whatever weapon or outfit that they would like in that violent setting. This would add humor into the game without having the actual game try too hard. Instead of being virtually turned into a toilet to battle, your character can be dressed in a bathrobe with curlers in their hair wielding the now classic large purple dildo. In that case it would be a choice whether the player wanted to dress in full out gang attire with their pistols or have it funny with another choice in outfit, both sides would be happy. When a serious player is forced to do something dumb that they had never envisioned their main character doing and funny players are forced to do something too serious the problem is created.
There are two sides to every argument and in the gaming industry the change in the Saints Row series is a hot topic to discuss. While one player wants their character to be serious the other wants to be humorous. One player wants to rob stores at gunpoint while the others want to dance down the streets of Steelport cracking farts in jars in people’s faces. Whichever way you like to play the game the only thing that matters is that you enjoy how you are playing the game. It is impossible to make every player happy but when Volition is faced with such a problem they are forced to think of both sides of the argument and make a game to the best of their ability as to what each different person will enjoy. After the complaint heard by previous fans over Saints Row: The Third they are going to have to make the next installment more believable but also with all the new fans they gained with Saints Row: The Third they are going to have to keep the over the top humor.
What would you like to see be done with Saints Row 4? Which side of this argument do you side with and if you were in charge what would you do with the series? Leave a comment below voicing your thoughts. Creating a game is nothing without fan input!