What You Want To Hear: Saints Row IV Sold Well

By Graham Smith on October 28th, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

Let's pretend we're not blockheads.

Deep Silver have had quite the couple of years. They’ve gone from a European publisher of quietly successful strategy games and RPGs (the X games, Gothic, others), to finding mainstream success with Dead Island, to picking up where THQ left off with Metro: Last Light and Saints Row 4.

In an interview with Deep Silver’s CEO, The Penny Arcade Report mention that Saints Row IV has sold triple that of Saints Row 3 on PC over the same time period, and that Metro: Last Light sold more across all platforms in a single week than the original did in three months.

Like the original, Metro: Last Light was equal parts shonky and polished, but it was an interesting game. Saints Row IV was, like its immediate predecessor, wonderfully silly, and better than its rushed production would have suggested. I’m glad these games are doing well, and I’m glad they’re doing well on PC. This is news.

There is another, juicier part of this story though, which I’ve buried down here. After championing the sales success, CEO Klemens Kundratitz talked about the company’s approach to piracy.

“Many publishers are not launching day and date because the PC is so difficult, but they fear the piracy issues, so they’d rather first focus on consoles,” he said. When the Penny Arcade Report asked if Deep Silver have considered launching a service similar to Origin or uPlay, Kundratitz was definitive. “We have not, no. Uplay is not the way we want to approach things, definitely. I think we just need to make sure that the games we publish are worth the money, and certainly there is always this piracy situation that any publisher has. No publisher can tackle, really.” He continued, “In a business plan, we typically ignore it. It’s not something that is new, it’s something that has been part of our business for decades. As a publisher you just live with it, yes?”

This is the sort of thing we like to hear, which is probably why it was said, and that’s why I’ve put it at the end of the story and not at the top. It’s good that Deep Silver don’t plan to release a swarm of killer bees into the population any time soon, but CEO’s of large companies tend not to be naive about public perception.

If we’re to judge Deep Silver – and you don’t have to, you can just go play a videogame – then lets do it based on their actions and not on their compelling headlines. Saints Row 4 was joyful! Supporting modding is good! Apologising for a horrible thing and then doing it anyway is terrible! I like PCs. The frogurt is also cursed. Here is a GIF of a sea lion which is too heavy.

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79 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Anthile says:

    That can only mean one thing for the future… Freespace 3.

    • Dave Tosser says:

      The Saints become the Shivans.

      • livvylrq273 says:

        my co-worker’s aunt makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $18068 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you could try this out -=-=-=-http://goo.gl/1UjtCv

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I believe someone from Volition was quoted as saying they would commit murder to do Freespace 3, or something very close to that.

      I want FS3 so badly. Maybe Deep Silver will let this happen?

      • aldo_14 says:

        They need to claw it out of Interplays rigor mortis grasp, first.

        I’m sure I read somewhere that (a few years back, when Derek Smart was sniffing around – with a host of bizarre bad ideas) it was being offered at £500k. Which is possibly a bit too much for a publisher to swallow on a largely dormant, Pc only franchise. Maybe they could kickstart it?

        (not sure how many FS1/2 developers are still at Volition, though)

        • Tacroy says:

          I’m kinda surprised that isn’t a thing, actually – take some old IP, grab some old veterans with a glint in their eye and a gaggle of fresh devs with nostalgia for a time before they were born, and say “We’ll let you use the IP to come up with a Kickstarter pitch, and if you can raise $lots we’ll let you use it to make the game; we’ll take a cut of anything over $starving once it’s out”.

          It would be basically a no-lose proposition, as long as you handled it well. The company gets to look magnanimous – “see, we’re not just letting this rot in our vault” – while taking zero risk themselves. If the game is terrible, then well it was a failed experiment; if the game is great, you’ve got a fledgling studio that now owes you big time, either for stealing talent or farming out more IP.

        • Iron Ladyboy says:

          Who need rights to IP’s burried in some dusty ancient tomb? Call it “Spacefree: Free Space 3″ or “Freespace: The Not XXX Parody” and it would be the exact same game as a spiritual sequel or whatever. Anyone who would be hyped for the proper titled sequel would probably be all over it anyway.

          • Urthman says:

            Exactly. In fact Deep Silver has already done this once already, publishing the sequels to Gothic 3 under the name “Risen.”

          • draigdrwg says:

            Well, I think I’d probably say “Why should I play this above any of the other space games that are coming out? Or indeed, rather than any of the free continuations of the Freespace storyline built on FS open?”

            For the same reason that I’d like a Homeworld sequel rather than a game that copies the mechanics.

      • Quatlo says:

        If I recall correctly during one virtual reality missions in SR4 Kenzi types in the console which you can see on the screen “Relase FS3″, and response from the console is “Not going to happen”
        I was heartbroken for a week because of that little thing :(

        • Grygus says:

          i did not notice that. My world was better for the ignorance. Thank you for killing Santa. Murderer.

    • Infinitron says:

      They’d have to pay zombie master Herve Caen for the IP he bought for 7500 USD to do that. I wonder how many millions of dollars he’d ask for.

    • wz says:

      Volition sold the development rights to interplay recently for a token sum. Until then, Interplay held the trademark or something so development was deadlocked. Volition now have to buy the entire lot back:(

      FS Open project has evolved the Freespace engine but they’ve evolved the ‘space action+’voice acted story’ gameplay far more – possibly to levels where they’d be better at it than a new effort from Volition.Diaspora is a good way to get the freespace fix, while we wait for FS3 – Free and standalone since it doesn’t use art assets or IP from Freespace. (Deferred lighting/shadows build recommended).

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      Oh yes :).

      They should just ditch the whole IP issue thing and call it “Subspace”. Freespace was originally called Freespace because Freespace is what you move around in when going FTL. Freespace was later renamed to subspace ingame, but the name on the box stuck.

  2. Bull0 says:

    Oh cool we’re going to talk about the torso thing again, can’t wait

    • Agnol117 says:

      But of course! RPS cannot mention Deep Silver without also mentioning Torsogate.

      • Jenks says:

        Video game bloggers or hard hitting journalists catalyzing great social changes? You decide.

        (The answer is video game bloggers)

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        To me, it’s bizarre that Deep Silver seem to get more attention for silly things like Torsogate, but the fact that they have a tendency to publish intentionally low-quality games just seems to slip under everyone’s radar.

      • povu says:

        We could talk about their other publishing successes like Ride to Hell: Retribution.

      • Baines says:

        RPS went through so much effort to blow up (or make up) the story, so maybe they don’t want it forgotten so soon.

        It’s not like Deep Silver did something like release a horribly buggy and completely terrible game that could instead be mentioned. A game that makes Aliens: Colonial Marines look like a high quality product. You know, something like Ride to Hell: Retribution.

    • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

      No, you are. Again.

      • Bull0 says:

        Supporting modding is good! Apologising for a horrible thing and then doing it anyway is terrible!
        torsogate tag

        It’s not like I brought it up Andrew

        • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

          No. You had an article about many, many things, and torsogate was one entry in a list written to show a balance of positive and negative things about Deep Silver.

          But all you can take from that is they are going on about torsogate.

          You haven’t done well here.

          • Bull0 says:

            Sorry, why are you attacking me again? Graham brought up Torsogate, I said “Oh good, we’re going to talk about torsogate again”, and then you got angry and said I’d said RPS are “going on about it” (read my comment again: I said nothing of the sort)

            Don’t really get it, can’t say you come off well here either. Can you bully someone else please? Thanks

          • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

            Hahaha, you’re playing the innocent card. OK.

          • Bull0 says:

            No, I’m not playing a card, I honestly don’t get what you’re doing. I’m happy to listen to some explanation. Go for it.

          • Tssha says:

            This is such BS Bull0. Play ignorant if you want to, but if you didn’t want it talked about, you wouldn’t have brought it up.

            And why shouldn’t we talk about it? It was fucking terrible. If you disagree you’re worse than Hitler.

            That last sentence might be hyperbole. But only slightly.

    • karthink says:

      > Oh cool we’re going to talk about the torso thing again, can’t wait

      Not if you don’t want to. From your tone, it looks like you don’t want to. No one else has brought it up.

      • Bull0 says:

        I really don’t want to. I like to think that my comment dissuaded others who might otherwise have talked about it. But probably not

  3. Premium User Badge amateurviking says:

    …but you get your choice of topping!

  4. Teovald says:

    So, I guess that means that the next Saints Row with a new crew will happen !
    Happy times !

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Well, while we’re rattling out exclamations, “regional pricing for Saints’ puts it over 20% dearer in the UK than the US!”

    • Schiraman says:

      Not to mention that at launch it was £10 cheaper to buy it on PS3/360 via Amazon than on PC via Steam (which was the only place it was available, AFAIK).

      I guess the cost of Sony/MS allowing your game on their console, plus the cost of the disc, the box and shipping is -£10 these days? That’s progress for you.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Ha ha, that’s publisher maths for you.

        I think it could also be looked on as a piracy tax, where the buying public are paying for the torrent trolls.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      It seems nearly every AAA release on Steam in the UK, is much more expensive than usual lately. It’s much cheaper to buy retail.

    • Phantom_Renegade says:

      Let’s not forget region locking US codes so they won’t work over the border. Classic gag! Who doesn’t like buying the same game twice!

    • MegaAndy says:

      We pay 20% VAT……. unless you mean +20% before VAT

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Using “, yes?” at the end of a sentence always reminds me of Death’s Head – and so seems to imply “you’re about to be murdered in the face”.

    I must load up SRIII and finally play the thing

    • Nick says:

      Alec Meer always reminds me of Death’s Head, I can’t quite put my finger on why…

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Put one finger on X and another on Z, people will get the general idea…………General Idea was in a Marvel comic along with Death’s Head IIRC!

  7. strangeloup says:

    Dear RPS Hivemind,

    Metro: Last Light is a tenner on Steam at the mo, which is the cheapest I’ve seen it go. I’ve heard good things about it, but the first one frustrated the hell out of me — mostly due to psychic enemies and the bizarre tendency for a close-range shotgun blast not to kill a human foe, who could headshot-kill me at a fair distance with a pistol — and I never got very far. Is the sequel significantly improved in re: more fun, to make it worth ten of my English pounds?

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      Let’s be honest.

      All you’re going to spend the money on is cheap gin.

      So yes. It’s a pretty good russian manshoot.

      • strangeloup says:

        I’m slightly troubled by how well you seem to know me.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          See you at the LIDL booze counter tomorrow morning. Same time as usual.

          EDIT: Top tip – set language to russian with english subtitles. More immersive but most importantly will save you from some truly awful amerussian voice acting

          EDIT 2: Ignore me that’s the first one

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I’m going to tax you both for your White Cider tomorrow AM. I accidentally blew my Horn of Valhalla and I might as well use my barbarians to get a headchange!

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      They were using genuine ammo, not the cheap homebrew type. 2033 had better combat than Last Light IMO! You knew if you trod on some broken glass or tripped a trap all hell would break lose in 2033. In Last Light you just crouched in shadow and to all intents and purposes dropped off the face of the earth!

    • visionsofamber says:

      It is my most favorite game. Fantastic story, and a cohesive game play experience that honestly has beat out the Half Life series in my view. (though no one will beat their level design in a while. I’ll attribute it to the fact that this game was made in modern day.)

      I do have to note that it is linear, but it does include an excellent stealth system that’s implemented into most of the levels except for ones where you’re specifically dealing with the wildlife.

      There’s also a hidden karma system that determines the ending, though neither are necessarily bad.

      It also has some of the most gorgeous graphics I have seen in a game. It ran like crap when it was first released, but updates made it smooth over time. Totalbiscuit described it at launch as one of the best looking games on the PC.

      There are a lot of hidden quirks – you have to recharge your flashlight, for example, and manually swap out a gas filter, or wipe the blood or grime off of your mask. Cracks accumulate over time and you eventually have to replace it if it breaks.

      In comparison to Metro 2033, this is definitely the better title, though I enjoyed the story of the first, it’s gameplay leaves something to be lacking by.

      If you’re worried about the horror element, it’s definitely there, but I’m really squeamish and sat through most of it without problems. It makes up for it in the dreariness of the overall environment – the world is dying, and these factions are going to run through one of the few remaining refuges of human life.

      There are these bullet sponge bosses that are extremely annoying where ammo is so scarce. (and military grade rounds are used as currency.)

      • KenTWOu says:

        it does include an excellent stealth system

        It includes stealth system, which is cool, but it’s miles away from being excellent.

  8. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I think we just need to make sure that the games we publish are worth the money [...]

    That is almost too sensible and rational to really come from a publisher. Are you sure you didn’t dream that up?

    More seriously, this makes me respect Deep Silver a lot more, Torsogate or no. Also, yay for Saints Row IV getting the success it deserves! Definitely one of my favourite games of the year.

  9. Yglorba says:

    If they make a new Saint’s Row, I’m curious if it will follow directly on the endings of Saint’s Row 4, and if so, which one.

    They do both seem like they’d make such fun ideas for games… Saints in Time vs. Saints in Space. Hm. Saint’s Row meets Freespace. I can see it. Huge capital ships with gaudy useless giant-sized purple Fleur-de-Lis hubcaps, firing massive waves of dubstep at enemy fleets.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Just give The Boss a concussion and amnesia and let them get lost in time. Give us a peaceful town in the medieval era to wreck, then discover portals and see what your wrecking has done to the future of the place.
      Hmm. That’s almost too good.

    • Teovald says:

      They already stated that SR4 is the last SR with the Third Street Saints.

      SPOILERS : if you have played SR4, you can see how the whole game is a good bye to these characters. I guess that the plan could change but it is pretty clear that the ending is the end of the line for them.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        No more Saints? :(
        Maybe it’s weird because the game world is so silly, but those characters really grew on me somehow.

        • Teovald says:

          I think we may see other Saints. The purple is just to hard to let go.
          But the characters will be entirely new. After SR4, there is nothing else to tell. The Saints story has ended..
          I would not be too surprised if SR5 is some kind of reboot. I will miss these characters too though.

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            Honestly, that’s pretty much the opposite of the impression I got. From here on, there be

            SPOILERS

            in this comment:
            At the end, the Saints have access to a time machine, which alone is opportunity for infinityzillion more stories to tell.
            They also now have a galaxy to rule and have met Jane Austen. I felt the ending was more of a “we can do a billion more things with The Boss and his/her Saints”, rather than “That’s it, nothing more to tell about those guys”.

            Edit: Just to make it clear, I’m not saying you’re wrong about the dev’s statement, I’m just saying that the ending didn’t exactly feel like an “end of the line” ending to me.

          • Teovald says:

            Yeah, it is not that much the ending, that the game itself.
            It is a love letter to all these characters with tiny visits in the past to all their most defining moments. I don’t remember where, but there is a dev interview lying around explaining that it is what they wanted to do.

            Technically, you could make a sequel to SR4 where the Saints conquer space and time but at this point I would prefer a new story. They have already gone through 4 games, I think it is time to introduce new characters one way or another. If not, fatigue will settle in.

            It will be very hard for a new crew to take over though. The silliness of the Saints was perfect.

      • Kollega says:

        I wonder how are they going to justify the continued use of “Saints Row” as a title if the game’s no longer about the 3rd Street Saints and there’s no Saint’s Row in it anymore. Unless, of course, they go the route of “There’s always a man, there’s always Stilwater, there’s always the 3rd Street…”

  10. Kollega says:

    I’m not sure if I’ll be buying Saints Row IV. On one hand, everyone is saying how awesome the superpowers and the weapons and the writing are, and that may well be true, but on the other… it’s Steelport. I frickin’ hated Steelport. It was tiny, samey, and nonsensical. How can a megapolis with 400-metre-tall buildings be smaller in size than the small railroad town where my grandmother lives? The tiny map size in open-world games is what puts me off them most of the time – after the truly wide and open sandbox of Just Cause 2′s tropical islands, you simply can’t enjoy GTA4 or SR3 with their skyscraper villages.

    To sum it up, if Just Cause 2 is 10 out of 10 on a scale of map acceptability, GTA: San Andreas is 8 out of 10, and Red Faction: Guerrilla is 5.5, then Saints Row: The Third, and consequently Saints Row IV, are teetering dangerously close to zero, and that’s why I’m thinking to give it a pass. Does anyone have advice regarding if I should?

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      I guess it depends what you play the game for. I played Saints Row mostly for two things:
      1) The story / humour
      2) The fun gameplay

      It’s true that the map is obviously smaller than Just Cause 2 or GTA SA, but I never felt constrained by the city size. Then again, I don’t care how long it takes to get from one edge of the map to the other, as long as it is fun – world/city size alone doesn’t mean anything if you can’t fill it up with interesting content. Personally, I sometimes cursed Just Cause 2′s map size if I wanted to get from A to B; I ended up doing whatever was in the area I was in or using the transport menu. All that jungle, mountains and stuff look nice, but for me it was a bit too much at some point.

      TL;DR: tastes differ widely. If map size is a deal breaker for you, than I guess no one can convince you otherwise. But if you can accept the map size and just enjoy the content that’s there, then it’s a great and fun game.

      • Kollega says:

        The real problem with SR4′s map, I feel, is not that it’s tiny. SR3 was bad not only, and even not mainly, because of the miniscule map size, but because the map failed to be interesting. Stilwater in SR2 was also small-ish (though larger than Steelport) and somewhat nonsensical, but at least the different areas had a different feel. Steelport is just a little, gray ball of “meh” where I couldn’t find a single memorable feature, and I don’t feel like paying a second time to face its utterly boring streets once again.

        • Spoon Of Doom says:

          For what it’s worth: while the city is largely the same, it looks different due to some alien architecture and “glitches” from being inside a simulation. But, most importantly, it feels a lot different thant SR3 thanks to the superpowers with their new ways of getting around. You’ll be looking at rooftops more than streets, and a good few of the main missions take you to areas outside of the map. If that’s enough for you, try it out. If not, wait for a sale and then think about it again.

          • Iceman346 says:

            Just to emphasize this point: I played both SR3 and SR4 quite extensively and I never really had the feeling that I was playing on the same map. Apart from the obvious landmark (the statue offshore) it just feels completely different to me.

            That doesn’t make the map larger and I concur that Steelport was to samey but SR4 is a gloriously good time otherwise so I heartily recommend it.

    • Premium User Badge Lexx87 says:

      SR4 is my game of the year so far, it’s fantastic. GO BUY IT NOW WHILE IT’S ON SALE.

      I should say I only played the whole thing co-op, which makes anything great, but it really is wonderful.

    • Yglorba says:

      SR4 has an entirely different approach to the city. Even though it’s technically the same place, you’re looking at it through different eyes, and examining individual streets or neighborhoods in detail is no longer really the idea (after all, you’re seeing it at a hyperspeed blur, or while leaping entire city blocks in a single bound, or from the seat of an alien jet that flash from one end of the city to the other in moments; and all these things are core features.)

      If what you want is a game where you can sit back and enjoy the scenery, Saint’s Row IV isn’t for you, no, but that’s not what it’s trying to be, so the city is, to me, more acceptable — it’s a fun backdrop for superpowered romps, no more. (Also, the fact that it’s now a simulation justifies everything!)

      One thing I did regret was that (aside from a few short missions) the game only has one free-roaming simulation; it seems like a wasted opportunity. Certainly the Pleasantville simulation could have done with enough expansion to turn it into an open-play environment. Maybe they’ll address this with DLC, anyway.

    • Koshinator says:

      It’s not the size that matters.. just what you do with it :P

    • DickSocrates says:

      The ONLY thing good about the Just Cause 2 map was how it looked from way up in the air. Everything else about it was terrible. The cities were so under detailed they could have easily been rendered on the PS2. They contained nothing but a few concrete textures and were a joke compared to GTAIII, never mind any other GTA games. The jungles were the one type of tree and the one type of ground texture spammed over a large area. If the only thing that matters to you is size then fine. But I prefer attention to detail and would take a small map where everything is modelled out properly, including shop/home interiors to explore.

      Which puts SR3 and 4 in a weird position for me, because it fails to be big and fails to be detailed. People like the SR games for the humour, but I don’t find them funny. And I don’t like games that don’t offer any actual gameplay. Standing around soaking up bullets while blasting HL2 era ragdolls around isn’t fun to me.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Buy a microscope, you will never need to play a PC game again.

      • OscarWilde1854 says:

        Not sure I necessarily agree about SR3 or 4 BUT I definitely agree about Just Cause 2. That map made me feel like the whole world was empty… nothing happens, there are barely even cars half the time. And they give you all of these amazing tools to use for transporting yourself around the map but then nothing to use them on.. It was often impossible to get from one island to another without driving a car around the 20 minute route along the highways because there isn’t anything to hook onto and “fly”.
        Generally made that game a disappointment for me!

  11. Radiant says:

    That sealion.
    He knew.
    He knew; that piece of shit. He knew

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      All of his co inhabitants probably make fun of him..
      Insult his obesity…
      Make him feel insecure about his life and future as a successful sealion…
      Who’s laughing now! Who is laughing now!

  12. antinmol628 says:

    my friend makes $83/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for nine months but last month her income was $21331 just working on the laptop for a few hours check it quickly>>>>>> http://goo.gl/XjXcH1

  13. puppybeard says:

    I bought the two metro games over the weekend, because it seemed too good an offer on Steam to pass up.

    Important question: should I play them in sequence?