One of Saint's Row 2 producers says the Grand Theft Auto franchise, its "biggest competitor," has "lost a lot of the fun" it used to have.
Dan Sutton, Assistant Producer for Volition Studios, is moving the gangster sandbox game Saint's Row 2 in a direction of an exaggerated world representation after marketing research on Grand Theft Auto IV's strict realism found that "a lot of users seem to feel that GTA IV went to the realistic gameplay and lost a lot of the fun experiences from games like San Andreas."
"The encouraging thing is that a lot of people seem to be in favour of Saints Row," he said.
Sutton might be a bit biased, but he insists he's a huge Rockstar fan himself.
"San Andreas is one of my favourite games and Vice City was a lot of fun too - just the whacky [sic] activities you got up to, the fast paced action."
The problems for GTA, he says, occurred when Rockstar tried to make the series "realistic."
"They really slowed it down for this one.... It's an awesome environment but I think they lost a lot of fun factor. We've seen that on a lot of forums," he noted.
Sutton hopes Saint's Row's online will boost the game's longevity compared to GTA IV.
"It's been months since it came out and multiplayer's kind of held on to that. There are still some things you can go back and do like the hitman stuff, there's some racing activities you can do, you can shoot pigeons if you want... but beyond that there's not that much replayability," he said. "We wanted to add co-op, all this different missions, diversions... you're just getting rewarded for playing the game. That's what we feel is the defining factor of Saints Row."
Fans of gang-fighting open-world adventures will have to see if the addition of porn star Tera Patrick to the development team will seduce players back to the game after its October 14 release in North America .