Volition has ruled out the possibility of making remasters of the original Saints Row and Saints Row 2.
As reported by MP1st, Volition replied to a fan making these specific inquiries on the official Saints Row account, simply, “We have no plans to remake them.”
Volition have not been having the best of times recently. Their 2022 reboot of the Saints Row franchise was received poorly critically, and only met the most basic of financial expectations. The game ended up with Metacritic scores of 65 on PC and Xbox Series X|S and 61 on PlayStation 5. Scores did range from 4/10 to 8/10, but mainly fell into that 6/10 range.
Criticisms were levelled against the poor writing, an unfortunate failure for the studio to meet expectations of going back to the franchise’s carefree, funny writing. The game did meet expectations in terms of open world design, but it also suffered from many bugs at launch.
Parent company Embracer Group noted that Saints Row did turn out a profit, but it did not end up becoming a huge hit for the company. Volition, for their part, was resolved to keep updating the game for the next few months. We will note that Volition has been incorporated into Gearbox, but that may reflect bigger scale decisions at Embracer, who themselves have been having their own separate issues.
In regards to the classic games, it’s understandable that there is still demand from fans to see them get remastered. The original Saints Row game was an Xbox 360 exclusive when it released in 2006, and it remains that way to this day.
Subsequently, Saints Row 2 was released on Xbox 360 and Windows via Steam in 2008. However, that Steam version has been neglected by Volition. On a basic level, it has become buggy on modern operating systems like Windows 10 and Windows 11. It also originally had GameFly integration for online multiplayer, which has not been removed since GameFly shut down.
It is notable that both games are playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility, but that won’t address other issues with these games that could be dealt with in full remasters or remakes.
While rereleasing or remastering would be great for the purpose of game preservation, it is also understandable why Volition would not be interested. Many aspects of both of those games have aged poorly. While most fans will immediately identify the writing and storyline as potential issues, both of those old Saints Row games also reflect an older design sensibility from Volition, that they grew away from, and hasn’t aged the same way that the PlayStation 2 Grand Theft Auto games did.
There is obviously a market for remasters and rereleases of any scale or level, as Nintendo Switch owners bought both the stellar Metroid Prime Remastered, and the more basic Red Dead Redemption release in huge numbers. It is entirely their call, but Volition may be turning away a good opportunity here, to have fans rediscover their original games, and also make considerably less risky game releases, for modest but certain returns.