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Saints Row relaunch was ‘polarising’, says Embracer CEO

A month on from the launch of Saints Row, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors is expressing his personal disappointment.
Saints Row 2022 Review

Saints Row (2022) launched to wildly mixed reviews in August, with many reviews labelling it just fine, and others pointing out its dullness, various bugs, and lack of personality. Those who enjoyed previous Saints Row games found the reboot decidedly bland – inoffensive, but hardly a must-play. Now, Embracer Group CEO Lars Wingefors is expressing his own personal disappointment in the game.

In a recent general meeting within Embracer Group, Wingefors claimed he had higher hopes for the game, and was disappointing in its widespread reception – which he claimed was largely polarising.

‘Personally, I had hoped for a greater reception to the game. It’s been very polarising,’ he reportedly said, per VGC. ‘There are a lot of things that could be said in detail around it, but I’m, with one hand, happy to see lots of gamers and fans happy, and at the same time I’m a bit sad to also see fans not happy, so it’s difficult.’

Read: Saints Row (2022) review – An old-fashioned open-world game

Wingefors claimed Embracer, which owns Saints Row developer Deep Silver and publisher Volition, would need to wait for the company quarterly report before passing firm judgement on game – but it appears the writing may be on the wall.

‘On the financial side, I know, or I’m confident we will make money on the investment. Would it have as great a return on investment as we have seen in many other games? Not very likely, but we will make money, and that’s a very good starting point at least,’ Wingefors said.

While he was enthusiastic about the financial reward of investing in the Saints Row series, he was less positive about the game’s reception, and the impact it had on the perception of the franchise.

‘You always want every instalment of any IP to be greater than the last one,’ he said – the implication being that the Saints Row relaunch had not achieved this goal.

While Wingefors said he would put his trust in the people creating the game to make the best decision for the future of the franchise, the game’s failure to improve on the Saints formula may prove to be its undoing in the long term.

During the Embracer general meeting, the meagre success of the relaunch was outshone by other Embracer Group properties – including Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which was reportedly so successful it ‘shattered’ company targets and is now being expanded, with multiple new ‘experiences’ currently in the works.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.