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Volition: Saints Row IV not next-gen due to “painful” launch experience in the past

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Imagine this guy, but with a look of complete pain.

It was recently announced that Saints Row IV will be coming this August to current generation platforms like the PS3 and Xbox 360, which surprised many gamers who thought it better for the franchise to hold off for an installment on the next generation of consoles, coming just over the hoirzon. According to developer Volition, there’s a good reason they’re avoiding recklessly jumping headfirst into next-gen.

Speaking to Video Gamer recently, Saints Row IV producer Jim Boone stated that although the developer is certainly interested in the next generation, their problematic experience with creating the PS2 launch title Summoner back in 2000 was an absolute technical nightmare and forever tainted their view of developing titles for a console immediately after it launched:

“We’ve definitely been looking into [the next generation] just like everyone else does, but I think our philosophy is generally to try and do it right.

Part of that is from our history… When we did Summoner – that was a launch title for the PlayStation 2 – and our experience with that was… It was one of the most painful games I’ve ever worked on because obviously it’s a launch title and it’s just incredibly challenging to do. And I think from that we’ve learned.

Boone went on to say that it was this exact school of thought that prevented the original Saints Row from coming out during the Xbox 360’s launch, instead being released almost a full year after the console launched in order to allow Volition to become more familiar with the hardware and better create games for it:

“Saints Row 1 is a perfect example… We specifically chose not to do that one as a launch title because of the kinds of lessons we learned on Summoner. So I think we’ve just woven that into our philosophy of, let’s make sure we do the game right rather than feeling like we need to do a mad dash just to get it out on next-gen.”

What this means is that you’ll likely see a Saints Row game, or at least a game by Volition on next generation consoles like the PS4. You’ll just have to wait a year or two after launch for them to become adept at creating quality titles with the hardware they have before them.

Stay tuned for more news on Saints Row IV. Do you agree or disagree with Boone’s thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, or on our forums!

Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at michaelurban@www.onlysp.com. Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)

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Judgment Producer: Friendship System Makes Yagami “A Much More Deeper Character”

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Judgment producer Kazuki Hosokawa has discussed new introduction of the friendship system and its effect on creating Yagami’s deeper character.

Judgment shares a lot with the Yakuza series, and, as it turns out, both games were in development at the same time. Players will go back to the streets of Kamurocho, but this time as a dynamic detective named Takayuki Yagami in a new courtroom-thriller narrative. Players will have to subtly follow suspects and search crime scenes for evidence. Judgment will suit Yakuza fans, but casual players should not miss it.

In an interview with Twinfinite, Hosokawa shares more details about the introduction of the friendship system, and the effect on Yagami’s personality.

When asked about why he chose to develop the friendship system, Hosokawa explained the main reason is to reinforce Yagami’s character.

The friendship event actually developed when we were thinking about how to solidify the character of Yagami… Interacting with the townspeople that are also living in Kamurocho gives Yagami a much more deeper character.”

Hosokawa is significantly trying to focus on depth of character for Yagami. His aim appears to be to create a fully dimensional protagonist who draws players into the story. Therefore, using aspects like a home neighbourhood and friendship events help to create simple everyday examples of relationship and character building.

Whilst Hosokawa is predominantly used to making games for PlayStation, he indicated that Rya Ga Gotoku Studio is considering making internal preparations enabling easier switching to the PlayStation 5 for future developments.

“We are definitely thinking as a studio and considering the changes in the platforms… we want to utilize these new specifications whenever we are developing anything new.”

However Hosokawa also did not rule out the possibility of cross-platforming Judgment by porting the title to other platforms.

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