Following the appointment of former Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin as president after suffering a great number of financial troubles, THQ has announced that they will be scrapping plans for more Saints Row: The Third DLC, specifically the Enter the Dominatrix expansion, in favor of a full fledged sequel that will launch in 2013.
Jason Rubin explains the thinking that went into the decision, stating:
“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.
“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 our 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.”
The move has resulted in a shift in revenue for the troubled company, with an approximate decrease of $20 million for this fiscal year and an estimated $0.03 extra loss per share. This comes after THQ has made a number of moves to improve their financial situation, including complete studios being closed and plans to reverse split their common stock.
Analysis: I personally wasn’t a fan of THQ’s idea of creating the so called “forty weeks of downloadable content” for Saints Row: The Third and all it seemed to achieve was make the game feel unfinished and more of an investment rather than an entertainment product. I’m all for this move if Rubin’s decision is indeed influenced by the ridiculous amount of DLC the title was going to see and how gamers aren’t to fond of the idea. Capcom has most certainly proven that over the last year. The prospect of a more complete, enjoyable, and new Saints Row title is one I see very few being upset about.
Funny enough, this seems backwards to the general direction the industry has taken lately; they’re adding content to a sequel or new disk and cutting down on DLC instead of the industry-wide norm of cutting content from the disk and releasing it as post-game DLC. Is this the sign of a return to complete and finished games being released? Probably not, but I appreciate that Rubin acknowledges the issue, if perhaps unintentionally.
As for whether this move will save the company or put another nail in the coffin for them, I’m not entirely sure. Obviously, the move hurts them right now as they’ll miss out on a fairly large sum of money. However, if the company rights the ship and still exists next year, I would imagine another Saints Row sequel will only help their financial situation. Although the move away from DLC is one gamers will approve of and may pay off in the future, it’s a risky proposition that only hurts them more at the moment at a time where THQ can’t afford to make any mistakes.
Like many others, I thought Saints Row: The Third was a fine game, although it did feel somewhat hollow and lifeless compared to the title before it. With any luck, hopefully the sequel in 2013 will recapture the spark that had many gamers falling in love with Saints Row 2.