Earlier this week at Gamescom’s Opening Night Live show, a brand new Saints Row reboot was revealed for the first time with a new trailer. Despite Volition’s hotly anticipated new Saints Row game finally coming after years of waiting, the YouTube trailer for the game has vastly more dislikes than likes and the studio is getting bombarded on Twitter over the new direction of the game.
If you’re not a Saints Row fan, you might not be aware of how there’s a miniscule and kind of inexplicable culture war that surrounds the shifting nature of the series. As I touched on when the game was teased last week, fans of the first and second games of the series have felt dissatisfied with the third and fourth games, which went a far more outlandish direction. When Saints Row 4 essentially wrote the game into a corner where it could only get more absurd or reboot completely, this schism intensified.
With the new Saints Row coming out next year, Volition kind of split the difference by making a far more grounded Saints Row title than the Third or 4 but incorporating the more cartoony graphics and tone from those later games. It turns out, splitting the difference means neither camp is happy and Volition isn’t planning to budge.
After a Twitter mention that begged the developer to reconsider this new direction, the account tweeted a “Haters gonna hate” gif in response. After that, the official Twitter was pushed for a slightly more explanatory response.
We are not backing down on this game. We get it, it’s new and it’s a shock reaction to a reboot like no other. The gif was supposed to convey that.
— Saints Row (@SaintsRow) August 26, 2021
The new Saints Row puts players in a new city with a new cast, which are not endearing themselves to upset fans. It is one of those situations where people with preferences became so entrenched by arguing about them over the years that a new product that isn’t what they had in mind causes a very defensive and predictable backlash.
Volition’s stance of not changing anything does ring a little hollow, though — the game is due on February, so it’s likely that they are well past the point of being able to massively change the script, style, or tone. But they are steadfast to fan response all the same.
We’ll see how the game actually turns out in a few months. Saints Row releases on February 25 on PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One & Series S|X, and PC.