Saints Row 2 rollin' onto PS3, 360 in '08

Sequel to popular Grand Theft Auto-style free-range crime game to debut on both Sony's and Microsoft's consoles next year; PS3 port of original canceled.


Saints Row
Saints Row 2

Saints Row for the PlayStation 3 is no more. During a conference call with analysts after THQ's earnings report today, CFO Edward Zinser revealed the port, which was originally slated for release during this quarter, has been canceled. He said that as a result the California-based publisher is revising its guidance for the April-June quarter, the first of its fiscal year, downward.

THQ CEO Brian Farrell explained the logic behind the cancellation thusly to analysts: "We think the most important thing for the Saints Row franchise is to have a simultaneous ship into a larger installed base next year," he said. "We think the bigger opportunity is a multiplatform launch."

As one might deduce from Farrell's comments, THQ has reallocated all Saints Row resources at its internal studio, Volition, to work on a sequel. The game, which currently has no official title, will ship simultaneously on the PS3 and 360 sometime next year. Further details on the second Saints Row were scant, with THQ saying only that the game would "utilize Volition's proprietary open-world engine and deliver an all-new cross-platform gaming experience." Farrell did tell analysts the game had been in the works for "some time."

Released last August as a 360 exclusive, Saints Row was praised by critics as being the first free-roaming urban crime game to be worthy of comparison to Grand Theft Auto. It also benefited from the fact no GTA game was released for next-gen consoles in 2006, selling nearly 700,000 copies in the US alone, according to industry research group NPD Funworld. The game has topped over 1 million copies worldwide, and recently achieved Platinum Hits status. Perhaps not so-coincidentally, there are no console versions of Grand Theft Auto planned for 2008.

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