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Saints Row 4: Volition talks spoofing Superman and surviving THQ

How and why Enter the Dominatrix became a full Saints Row sequel

A dark cloud hung over Saints Row 4 even before THQ's descent into bankruptcy, which led to developer Volition shacking up with Koch Media. The project was originally a Saints Row 3 expansion titled Enter the Dominatrix, and some pundits remain dubious about whether it's really the "vastly expanded, fully fledged sequel" Jason Rubin promised.

We've laid eyes on the thing - not to mention written a hell of a lot about it in issue 98, now on sale - and our own doubts have been more or less laid to rest, thankfully. True, the game's no major overhaul, but between the superheroic powers and the alien invaders, the "Inflate-o-Rays" and the rocket launchers that resemble guitar cases, we suspect you'll struggle to care. Here's senior producer Jim Boone with more.

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This started as an expansion. How exactly did the switch to a full game change the shape of the project?

Saints Row 4 actually started as a full project shortly before Saints Row the Third was finished. Shortly after that same time, our expansion pack, Enter the Dominatrix started production. Once we were much further along on both projects, Jason Rubin started his time as President of THQ. It was Jason that talked to us about the idea of bringing both projects together, which we at Volition were very excited about. There were elements of EtD we were very excited about, but we weren't going to have the time to really polish and blow out due to the short development cycle required for an expansion pack. Once we brought those elements over to SR4, everything really started clicking and without a doubt has made SR4 a much better game.

Did THQ's troubles impact development in any particular way?

Fortunately it did not impact us in a significant way. When the bankruptcy was announced, we were obviously concerned about what this would mean for Volition. Fortunately for us, we were in a fairly good position in that it looked like either THQ would get their investment to continue on or we would be purchased by a new publisher. Our studio's primary concern at that point was to learn who we would be working for long term and whether there would be any significant changes made to the studio.

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During this period of uncertainty we were still working full speed ahead on SR4. It's fair to say there was a lot of distraction waiting to learn the results of the auction that was ultimately conducted to deal with THQ's bankruptcy, but that was also fairly short lived. Deep Silver had the winning bid for Volition and they worked quickly to bring us in the fold. I'm happy to say that Deep Silver gets our special brand of craziness with SR4, and they have not asked for a single change to the game. So, while this was a fairly crazy process to go through, in the end it really did not have a significant effect on SR4.

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