Saints Row finished second in the August NPD report, so how bad could things possibly be? Well, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors, whose company owns developer Volition, doesn’t sound too enthusiastic at all. “Personally, I had hoped for a greater reception of the game,” he said, as reported by Axios’ Stephen Totilo. “It’s been a very polarized view.”
While we thought the title was a perfectly agreeable reboot, others have been less generous. “There is a lot of things that could be said and details around it,” Wingefors continued, alluding to the reception. “I’m happy to see a lot of gamers and fans happy. At the same time, I’m a bit sad to see also fans not happy. It’s difficult.”
The executive admitted that he’ll await more data in November, and insisted he’s confident the project will turn a profit in time. “Will it have as great a return of investment that we have seen in many other games?” he pondered. “Not very likely, but we will make money and that’s a good starting point.”
Saints Row is one of Embracer’s higher budget projects, and therefore it needs to sell more copies to be considered a success. This may explain why, despite the game charting quite highly, Wingefors is speaking like it’s flopped. After all, chart placement does not give us a great indication of sales figures, and it sounds like the reboot has failed to outsell previous entries.
All of this begs the question: is there a future for the series? “Obviously you always want every installment of any IP to be greater than the last one, but what you do is evaluate your position, the outcome, and there [are] hundreds of people engaged in this game in the group. I still have a great trust in those people, and I am sure they will recommend things for the future.”
We appreciate the candid nature of these comments, but we don’t think we’ve ever heard an executive be quite so honest about the performance of a game that was just released.