The Saints Row reboot—the announcement trailer for which received 70,000 “dislikes” on YouTube because apparently one diverse, high tech, over-the-top gang blowing up another and stealing from them means you’re bowing to “the twitter mob and sjw’s”—has been delayed from the previously-announced release date of Feb. 25 to Aug. 23, 2022. In a statement released Wednesday, Jim Boone, Chief Creative Officer at Volition said the following:
Our priority is to create the best Saints Row game yet and, if we released on the original date, it wouldn’t be up to the standards we’ve set ourselves, and that you’re expecting and deserve. The team just need more time to do our vision justice; we’re doing some fine tuning and there won’t be much change in the game outside of overall quality and polish.
In all honesty, we underestimated the impact COVID would have on our schedule, although everyone adapted very quickly to the working from home arrangement and continued to be incredibly productive.
However, due to the size and scope of our new Saints Row, it’s become apparent that to create the best game possible, we need to give our team longer to perfect their craft.
As mentioned when we announced Saints Row in August, this will be the biggest and best Saints Row game ever and, in order to achieve our goal, we’ve settled upon a generous, yet essential amount of time to realise our ambitions.
Rest assured, there will not be any changes to the story or the characters or anything that we’ve lovingly imagined over the last few years and already shared with you.
Over the past two years, all corners of the entertainment industry have been affected/impacted in one way or another. As gamers ourselves, we know what it feels like to have something delayed which you’ve been looking forward to; it’s frustrating and you feel disappointed. But we also know that when we finally get Saints Row in your hands, it will have been worth the wait. It’s our absolute priority to get this right.
I, for one, have become relieved, bordering on enamored, with delays. It signals that the developer is taking the time to do the thing right, instead of grinding their workforce into dust and/or releasing a broken product. At least, I hope that’s what it means.
Crunch is bad for the people that make games, and is therefore bad for the people who play games and the culture of the videogame industry. What’s more, while Bethesda, CD Projekt, and Rockstar have all shown that you can still make money while delivering a barely-functioning project, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do to customers broadly, much less fans of your franchises in particular.
COVID has indeed had massive ripples across all industries, across every walk of life (though some economic strata much more than others), and across the planet. There have been nearly 1 million deaths in the United States alone, to say nothing of supply chain issues that have been compounded in the games and tech industries by a drought in Taiwan slowing up microprocessor development and the rerouting of microprocessors to blockchain-based speculative scams.
As you might guess from the fact that I liked the original Grand Theft Auto trilogy, I’m a Saint’s Row fan. I beat each of the first three, though my copy of Saints Row IV stopped working and I never replaced it. The trailer for the new game looked like a cool next step, and I’m excited for the development team to finish the brand new world of Santo Ileso.
To Jim and the rest of Volition I say: take all the time you want. Make a great game. The naysayers will come around if you’re undeniable. And it would just be great to see a mainstream game do right by, rather than abuse its its workers and fans. So, please, manage the operation well, rather than forcing us to reckon with an okay game built on a long crunch period.