What better way to win back your community after the rocky launch of a new game than by providing a free "upgrade" to a beloved old game? I've no way of knowing if that's what Volition thought as they followed the poor reception of the Saints Row reboot by earlier this month "upgrading all copies" of Saints Row IV to Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, a version of the outlandish 2013 action game which includes all previously released DLC.
If it was what they thought, it hasn't worked. Players report that Re-Elected isn't an upgrade at all, but that it has broken their save games, their mods, and introduced new launch and crash bugs to the nine-year-old game.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected was released on Steam, GOG and the Epic Games Store on December 8th, with new crossplay functionality between players who purchase from different digital stores. At the same time, all DLC and prior versions of the game were removed from sale, and existing owners of the game were "automatically upgraded" to the new version.
Yesterday Deep Silver acknowledged that they were "actively investigating" several issues, including those I mentioned above.
Technically, it should still be possible to play the old, pre-upgrade version of Saints Row IV via a beta branch "Legacy Version" on both Steam and GOG. Unfortunately Deep Silver's post also says that one of the issue's they're investigating is the "Legacy Branch pulling the wrong build on Steam". Some players have not unreasonably suggested that Re-Elected should have been published as a separate game, rather than overwriting the orginal.
Our Saints Row 4 review was glowing back in the day, celebrating it for its "unbridled, unrestricted fun". (If you're struggling to remember which one Saints Row 4 was: it's the Saints Row where you start off as President of the United States but are trapped inside a computer simulation created by aliens. Also you can run as fast as a car.) Alice was much less enthusiastic in her Saints Row reboot review this year, finding it fun but lacking its own identity.
Speaking of developers following messily received blockbusters by returning to a beloved former well, The Witcher 3's next-gen update has also had a rough launch on PC this week.