Saints Row 4's producer: "I don't think that SR's tone gets in the way of bigger sales"
Aliens, superpowers, inflation lasers, a dubstep gun - judging from its short teaser trailer, Saints Row IV looks to be the most ridiculous game in the series yet. Speaking to OXM, Volition senior producer Jim Boon responded to comments made by Cliff Bleszinski - who suggested the game should tone down its more juvenile elements - saying, "I think our tone is an element of our success."
"Ultimately I don't think that SR's tone gets in the way of bigger sales. If anything, I think our tone is an element of our success. SR is quite unlike anything else out there, and I think gamers crave unique experiences - I know I do. We have a lot of passionate fans that love SR, so I think we are striking the right chord."
Despite this, Boon says the team doesn't feel pressure to outdo the ridiculousness of previous games - even though they clearly have. "If anything it is liberating to be able to come up with any idea we think gamers will enjoy with no restrictions. Ultimately the pressure comes from trying to keep things fun in SR4. We have a very creative team that comes up with some fairly crazy ideas - that is almost the easy part for the team.
"The challenge is to make sure these ideas have a purpose and are fun," Boon continues. "We don't want to do crazy just for the sake of being over the top, so it is important that our crazy ideas actually add to the game. The pressure comes from having the time to really hone our idea into something that feels awesome for the player. We have had to cut any number of ideas if we thought we couldn't get the fun factor where it needs to be."
All fine and well, but would fans really miss the giant purple dildos? Boon thinks yes. "I think our fans would miss what might considered juvenile elements of previous SR games. Based on the overall reception and sales of SR3, I strongly suspect many people enjoy this aspect of SR, even if some may not want to admit feeling that way. Thinking of a movie series like The Hangover - people love the humor but you might not want to discuss some of the finer moments of those movies with your mom, for example.
"I think the same might be true for SR. We do get an awful lot of feedback from fans telling us much they love our juvenile tone - with some asking us to go even further! Ultimately SR4 doesn't try to take itself too seriously and we even have a lot of fun at our own expense."
Read the full interview to learn how superpowers have been integrated into the game, and how the team coped during THQ's bankruptcy.
Saints Row 4 is due out August 23rd.