Author: Max Linskey
August 29th brought gamers back to Steelport for the fourth installment of the Saints Row series, Saints Row IV. Gamers took no time in grabbing the game and showing off their new powers to tear up the city in brand new ways, and racking up one million units sold since then. This comes as great news to Deep Silver, who picked up the franchise after the bankrupcy of THQ, and had a tough time in getting the game to where it is now.
Deep Silver is a smaller game company most notable for the popular franchise of post-apocalyptic zombie survival, Dead Island. While this game was good in it’s own right, picking up a game like Saints Row IV was a big change, mainly because of the Saint’s Row franchise’s enormous following. Aubrey Norris, head of PR and marketing for Deep Silver, expressed her difficulties with the process.
“There were inherent challenges with Saints Row IV when we picked it up – all the turmoil from THQ’s demise and uncertainty around what was going to happen with it. And then there was an expansion pack, Enter the Dominatrix, that THQ had announced before. There was a lot of confusion about whether or not Saints Row IV would be just an expansion pack.”
Norris turned the hype from the series to her advantage, planning the game to be a full length title instead of a DLC for Saints Row: The Third. She also had to establish where the game was going based on where it was left since The Third.
“We wanted everything that we did to be just crazy. We wanted people to look at our key art and be like, ‘what the hell’. Everything should be fun, it should be funny, not take itself seriously.”
And the wackiness was definiely achieved, from the beginning cinematics and introduction to the game to the references to other popular titles. There’s even guns like the Dubstep gun which kills people with music, and the Black Hole gun, which creates a vortex that draws all towards it before it explodes and kills damage.
Against a daunting task of marketing a game out of their genre, and one with such notoriety for being crazy, Deep Silver took a great game and made it better, adding new concepts to Steelport and the player, bringing back some old ones, and above all, making a fun and funny game that is definitely worth playing