Saints Row’s Bright Future Update is Here, Too Late for Volition

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The Saints Row Bright Future Update is out now, bringing with it 200 fixes, tweaks and more.

The update, announced last week, is aimed at revitalising the Saints Row reboot, which hasn’t been as well received as publisher Deep Silver and parent company Embracer Group had hoped. The bad news is that, for all the work Volition has put into the game, it’s arrive a little too late for the studio.

Saints Row isn’t a bad game – we certainly had fun with it. But, as we pointed out in our review, it’s a little scrappy, especially compared to the likes of Grand Theft Auto V. This patch, the Bright Future Update (named after an in-game enterprise) has a lot of work to do. So what, then, does it change?

You can find the full patch notes here, but some of the highlights/additions include:

  • Improved game stability
  • Improved combat
  • More time to stop enemies calling for back-up
  • Seven new in-world garages
  • A pitch slider to let you change your character’s voice
  • Stopped the dust-storm effect playing in shops
  • You can now equip weapons without having to walk outside Saints HQ

The patch is out now on PlayStation, Xbox and PC, though there’s no Stadia patch since Google is shutting down their game streaming service. So, could the Bright Future update get players flocking back to Saints Row? It’s possible, we suppose, but in Volition’s case it doesn’t really matter.

How so? Because, as reported by VGC, Embracer Group has made the decision to fold Volition into Gearbox Software, another Embracer-owned studio. A statement, released alongside Embracer’s second quarter report states:

“Going forward, Volition will transition to become part of Gearbox which has all the tools, including an experienced management team in the US, to create future success at Volition.”

The statement, er, states, that the game did perform in line with management expectations. But the game hasn’t been as well received as Embracer would have liked, particularly by fans of the series. The performance of Volition’s previous game, Agents of Mayhem, likely didn’t help. It was the studio’s first post-Saints Row game and its release was followed by lay-offs at the studio.

So what does this mean for Volition? It almost certainly means they won’t be taking the lead on any future titles. Right now it’s unclear whether they’ll exist as a creative sub-studio or whether they’re going to be a support studio within Gearbox. We hope that if there are further layoffs, Volition’s staff land on their feet.

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