Saints Row 2022, the fifth entry in the Saints Row franchise, was released in 2022. The game’s creators embarked on a creative journey to revisit the distinctive blend of drama and humor that had characterized earlier installments in the series.
However, due to its new direction, the game received diverse reviews from critics. These evaluations often cited an array of technical issues, perceived shortcomings in the writing, and elements of gameplay that seemed somewhat antiquated or out of touch with contemporary gaming standards.
Recent revelations have shed light on an interesting twist in the development of the game. Initially, the project was conceived as a direct sequel to Saints Row 4, aligning with the original plan to continue the story arc from the previous installment.
This information was disclosed by an anonymous developer from the game during a video from a YouTube series called Matt McMuscle. The developer explained that in 2017, the game was initially envisioned as both a sequel and a reboot of the Saints Row franchise.
In this concept, the game would have retained the beloved characters from Saints Row 4, and the storyline would have revolved around the player’s journey to rebuild their gang empire from the ground up. However, this well-established trajectory took an unexpected turn, leading to a substantial shift in the game’s direction.
Why is this important?
The shift represents a momentous departure from the franchise’s established path, as the decision to reboot rather than persist with the existing cast left a considerable portion of the fan base somewhat disheartened.
Essentially, the development team aimed to avoid the trap of repetitiveness and stagnation. Thus, the decision to introduce fresh elements and characters aligned with the desire to infuse novelty and innovation into the franchise, avoiding a sense of monotony that can accompany a prolonged reliance on a consistent formula.
According to the source, the development team encountered considerable challenges when attempting to establish a fresh and cohesive theme for the game. This struggle caused a series of rather sudden and substantial alterations to the storyline, occurring during the latter stages of the development process.
Moreover, unexpected missions that were not originally part of the game’s development schedule had to be incorporated on the fly. This was done with the intention of providing more depth to the characters and, in turn, fostering a greater emotional connection between the player and the game’s cast.
As the release date for the game approached, the development team faced numerous challenges, and some developers left the project. Ultimately, the release and subsequent performance of this game became the catalyst for the unfortunate shutdown of Volition Games.