Saints Row has an uncertain future

Saints Row is perpetually on its back foot, but that eternal status as a scrappy, quirky underdog is precisely what led to its appeal. It's always had to contend with the undisputed king of the crime sandbox genre, Grand Theft Auto, but that just meant it could take bigger risks than GTA could ever dream of. The wackiness and absurdity were dialed up with each entry until 2014's Saints Row IV saw you playing as the superpowered President of the United States doing battle with aliens in a Matrix-style simulation.

Nothing lasts forever, though. After a few missteps from developer Volition, no one knew quite what to expect from the 2022 reboot of Saints Row leading up to its release – that is, until it actually released. A beautiful Southwestern game world couldn't save the game from its half-baked story, shallow gameplay, and truly ludicrous amount of bugs. Embracer Group, Volition's parent company (which seems to control everything in gaming nowadays), recently released an earnings report that casts the future of the long-running series in some doubt. Essentially, the company stated that their games going forward have to "earn the right to exist" – a right that the 2022 Saints Row, given its poor sales numbers and even worse critical reception, more than likely has not earned. The 2022 reboot felt like a last-ditch effort to inject life into a series that jumped the shark almost a decade ago – although I have a soft spot for Saints Row, it may be time to move on to bigger and better things. Preferably not involving so many sex toys being used as weapons.