With Red Dead Redemption receiving a ton of accolades from this past year, it seems only fitting that some of the more popular open-world franchises would come out of the woodwork. One such franchise, Saints Row, has a major announcement on the way, most likely a reveal of Saints Row 3.

Commenting in response to a fan on twitter, Dan Bilson from THQ said that there is a big announcement coming soon. While he didn’t elaborate much further than that, though many of his followers probably tried their hardest, this little piece of news should be enough to jump start the anticipation from fans of the Saints Row franchise.

[Update:CEO Brian Farrell confirmed the upcoming Fall release of Saints Row 3 on a conference call moments ago.]

“In the Fall, we plan to launch the latest installment of our Saints Row franchise, which we view as a significant growth driver in fiscal 2012… Volition is setting a new bar for this outstanding franchise and we look forward to unveiling this game in the near future.”

Leaning more towards the over-the-top spectrum of the open world genre, the Saints Row franchise has been the less serious Grand Theft Auto, but that has never been a bad thing. Like GTA, Saints Row pits players in control of a singular character as they experience a sweeping story that takes them across a densely populated city. Along the way, players can pick up side missions, perform vehicular stunts, or even participate in various street gang acts like tagging.

Saints Row isn’t about changing the open world genre or telling a mind-blowing story; it’s really about giving gamers an entertaining distraction from their daily life. The game’s focus on doing the wrong thing usually is the perfect way for gamers to relieve a little stress without pondering over complicated morality choices. Unfortunately (or very fortunately… time will tell), if THQ is still sticking to their current plan, this iteration may take on a much more serious tone.

While this Saints Row 3 news is sure to be only the beginning of a long marketing blitz for THQ, the announcement of an announcement indicates that the game is still a long way off. 2011, with everything from the 3DS to a ton of PS3 exclusives, is chalked full of titles for every type of gamer, including fans of open world sandbox games, but as soon as more information releases in regards to Saints Row 3, know that Game Rant will be there to cover all of it.

Are there any Saints Row fans out there who would be interested in playing Saints Row 3? After open world games that carry a much serious tone have raised the bar, do you think that Saints Row as a series is still viable?

Sources: Dan Bilson, Eurogamer

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