Embracer Group has shared its recent annual meeting online, and you could say things are a little uncertain regarding Saints Row, a series that now falls under the company's wing. CEO Lars Wingefors addressed the game's launch, saying he was disappointed in the reaction to the recent series reboot.
As transcribed by VGC, here's what Wingefors had to say on the game's initial reception:
Personally, I had hoped for a greater reception to the game [...] It’s been very polarising. There are a lot of things that could be said in detail around it, but I’m with one hand happy to see lots of gamers and fans happy, and at the same time I’m a bit sad to also see fans not happy, so it’s difficult.
The company CEO was also quick to address the future of the franchise. While it sounds like no decisions have been made just yet on what's next for Saints Row, the IP's future does seem a little uncertain.
I think we need to wait for the quarterly report in November to have more details around this [...] We’re still fairly early in our release window and still collecting data, and there is also bug fixing and more content coming.
Obviously you always want every instalment of any IP to be greater than the last one [...] And what you do is, this is quite a process to evaluate your position, the outcome, and there are hundreds of people engaged in this game within the group, so I still have a great trust in those people and I’m sure they will recommend things for the future.
For now, it's looking like Saints Row is safe, at least until the earnings reports come in. Embracer clearly still believes that developer Volition can deliver on the IP in future, and we too hope the series can find its feet again with another instalment.
Where do you think Saints Row should go from here? Drop your thoughts down below.
[source embracer.com, via videogameschronicle.com]
Put on Game Pass and let us decide
If they're not going to bother to take the series back to its roots then they should let it die the setting should be in the 90s/2000s
I'm glad to see that the reception of this game is being felt by the company. There's some hope for the world.
Go figure, you take an IP and retool it to remove most of what it's concept was and rebuild it around popular tropes in tv at the moment, and suddenly it's polarizing. I would not have guessed.
Congrats, they didn't know who they were making the game for, and in effect, made a game for no one.
Going for the whole Fortnite vibe/aesthetic really hurt it. The game has a massive identity crisis going on, not knowing what it wants to be or who its' target audience is. They saw the backlash during the reveal, and they basically said "lawl f you guys, we're not backing down". Kinda like when EA told you "If you don't like BF5, don't buy it". And many listened.
Im only gonna get it when it's like $10-20 at most.
And as an aside, If you're really feeling jaded like me, check out some indies or some smaller budget/less prominent games, like Stray, Axiom Verge, A Plague Tale, etc.. I've been having way more fun recently with this type of stuff.
When GTA 5 looks and runs better on my Xbox 360 in 2013 over Saints Row reboot in 2022 you know something is seriously wrong. The game is a technical mess before you even think about the story (or lack of).
The scary part about this whole situation is that one of the writer for this game is now the lead writer for Beyond good and evil 2.
They took a franchise that catered to a niche fanbase, then attempted to make a re-boot that appealed to a different type of fanbase without realising the original fanbase didn't want that.
I'm glad 'go woke, go broke' is actually a real effect.
If you cancel and ignore your original fanbase in an attempt to be woke and it hits your wallet hard, then that's your own fault for turning your back on the fanbase that gave you your original success.
This is glorious. It warms my heart seeing a cringefest like this fail.
@AverageGamer O boy 😅
I've never played a Saint's Row game. I am very glad I have never played any of these games as they have always looked pretty crap to me.
Of course it is.
People, you know the ones that actually wanted a sequel, have said for years what they'd like to see.
Instead they ignored all that, made what they want to try to appeal to an audience that doesn't exist, and now they're confused?
This has happened, hit for hit, with other games. Halo being own particularly large offender. What did they expect taking pages out of playbooks of unsuccessful games?
Just take Volition off Saint's Row, bin it, and have them bring back Freespace3 or Summoner 2. They're better IPs that have been dormant far too long (and one ended on a cliffhanger to set up a sequel that never happened.)
@AverageGamer The difference is that the SR franchise had a long way to fall from it's intentionally obnoxiously over the top but well characterized writing in previous entries to this one. BG&E2 from what we saw years ago already comes with more than enough cringe built-in, so I think the writing is a good match.
The moment Michel Ancel invited people to sign up to "join my space monkey program" it was all over.
Just that picture above was enough to tell me this game was gonna suck.
@NEStalgia Don't forget Red Faction IP as well
What?! How could that reboot possibly fail? I am shocked.
Maybe listen to your fans next time. Don't forget what makes a Saints Row a Saints Row it's not that hard.
It's a shambolic game. Apauled it was allowed to come to market. What a total joke. Glad it's failed or underperformed. The bottom line $ is ultimately all companies care about and this needed to happen to help turn the failing ship around, if that's even possible at this point for this IP.
@Solidchief That's another decent IP, but I feel that one went down the same hole as SR where it kind of forgot what it was supposed to be. Volition was great up to Summoner, but when they got to Red Faction they seemed to go through a period of not quite knowing what they wanted to make. They started finding it again with Saint's Row, but....it was going a little sideways with 4, and now we have whatever this thing is.
I'm biased as a Freespace fan but the time is SOOO right to bring back that IP. It could be huge. There's some rights issues though. The shell that was Interplay still owns the rights. Derek Smart almost bought them to make a game but that was trashed by fans and never happened, and he said what he'd make wouldn't really be the same type of game or a real sequel. Somehow I don't think aquisition-happy Embracer should have trouble buying the franchise rights.
I'm afraid GTA is going this route with LatinX protagonist. I'm bi, I have some understanding of people wanting representation...but like, with reason. When it makes sense. Something like the new Saints Row looks so forced it comes off as absurd and, worse, annoying
@NEStalgia I agree with everything you said
That’s another one bites the dust. How much more woke media be it TV shows, Movies or Video Games need to fail for these companies to understand nobody cares.
This Saints Row reboot has become the poster child for how to NOT reboot a video game franchise.
Hint: don't change everything about it!
Woke trash. Literally made and marketed to like 4% of the population.
@AverageGamer Is that for real? BG&E 2 is my most wanted sequel.... Fans have waited too long for it to end up with the Saints Row treatment... That would be unforgivable.
I rented this and completed it to 100% but I have to say that I thought it was the worst in the series. That’s not to say that I thought it was a bad game because I obviously enjoyed it enough to finish it and do/see everything the game offered but it’s nothing like the others in the series at all.
Basically the reboot was a fail and if they don’t know which direction to take the series in after this then they should either take another go with Johnny Gat and co with the usual wacky gameplay the Saints Row games are known for or just let the series die.
Why would they evaluate the future of a reboot nobody asked for? The answer was obvious from the very beginning
@Reptilio "I'm afraid GTA is going this route with LatinX protagonist. I'm bi, I have some understanding of people wanting representation...but like, with reason."
Puerto Rican here, and I agree with the diversity with reason. When a company (especially one with a mouse as its boss) tries to cram diverse actors and characters just for diversity's sake instead of making sense in the story, it never works. The story always comes first.
Now, GTA almost always had non white american protagonists and settings. Claude and Tommy Vercetti - italian ascendance; Nico Bellic - full eastern european; CJ and Franklin - black men; Huang Lee - chinese. Also the settings like Vice City (miami) - a big chunk of the population being latinos; Los Santos (los angeles) - big latino and black community; and Chinatown (new york).
So, a latina (because we really hate being called "latinx") protagonist in a GTA game is not only not forced, but makes sense, since it will be in Vice City again.
I love the 1st one a mickey take on GTA and it’s great - thereafter I think it had its day. Obviously if it’s on gamepass I will give it a pop.
they only focused on acquire developers not focusing on made a good game. embracer is a terrible company
Having played it myself I would say it's not that bad it's just buggy as f**k, the co-op doesn't work and despite playing on series X the game looks like it could have been an XB1 launch title, or EOL 360 title rather than any kind of next-gen experience.
Having read some of the comments here it seems some peoples' biggest criticism is the lack of white people, there's a word for thinking like that but I can't remember what it is
Why don't you just make a realistic Saints Row game like the first two games.. There i just solved your problem..
It’s a reboot. Most reboots have a dip in sales (unless there is either a low bar to hurdle or there has been so much length in game releases that the reboot looks amazing). I say double down. Fix bugs and support with more content but articles like these promote user disengagement because why buy when the owners have no faith in the project? Also possibly toss it on game pass.
@Savage_Joe I'm aware I was being facetious with the Latinx. The contrived PC label went hand in hand with the point I was making about contrived representation
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