Saints Row burst back onto the open world scene last August on Xbox... well, when we say "burst", we mean it sort of crawled back into the spotlight. Anyway, despite our own disappointment with the title, we did think it might have done okay commercially thanks to the name and its summer release window, but that doesn't appear to have been the case.
In Embracer Group's latest financial report, the company outlined what went well — and what went not-so-well — during its last fiscal quarter. The publisher says that its PC and console output "underperformed our expectations", and Saints Row's reception seems to have been a major contributing factor.
"The profitability in PC/Console in Q3 is also impacted by the amortization of game development costs for titles released with a lower ROI in Q1 and Q2, including the Saints Row reboot.
It is a fact that certain operative groups in our PC/Console Games segment have underperformed our expectations this year, largely driven by a sub-par ROI for its new game releases.
Rather than a structural shift, we believe it is mainly an effect of mixed reception for several releases, combined with a more normalized market and softer consumer purchasing power this year."
This news doesn't come as a massive surprise, especially when you factor in Embracer's prior financial report. When the company released that fiscal summary, it revealed Saints Row developer Volition was merging with Gearbox Software, the team behind the Borderlands series. Embracer hopes this move will help "create future success at Volition".
As for the future of this Saints Row series in particular? What comes next is now under evaluation, so who knows. The publisher hasn't specified what Volition will be up to under Gearbox's leadership, and we'd expect it to be a number of years until we find out.