Long before THQ finally went bankrupt, and ended up auctioning off all of its properties to a variety of homes, the studio was in some dire financial straits. Sure, some of its properties were still doing well, like UFC and Saints Row, but the vast majority of THQ's slate struggled with gamers.
As a result, many projects at THQ ended up never making it to release, having been cancelled well before they were ready for a public unveiling. One such game that was brewing at THQ before it was inevitably axed was a motion-controlled brawler set in the Saints Row universe.
Dubbed Saints Row: The Cooler, this brawler began development in March of 2010 at Heavy Iron Studios, and was intended for the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move. Unfortunately, after the project got to about 60% completion, THQ decided not to pursue it any further and it dissolves into nothing.
Now that time has passed, though, we have some new details about Saints Row: The Cooler, which apparently cast players as a bouncer on the rise. Essentially, players would complete various motion-controlled mini-games (hand-to-hand fights, gambling, lap dances, etc.) to ascend from dingy dive bars to swanky nightclubs. Very Saints Row in concept, but not necessarily inventive.
While former Heavy Iron devs suggest that lack of quality or financial constraints likely crushed Saints Row: The Cooler, we also wouldn't be surprised if the looming release of Saints Row: The Third had a role to play in the brawler's cancellation. Although the Saints Row franchise had been sitting on the shelf for a while, it was poised to make a huge comeback thanks to Volition's third game. But if a half-baked motion-controlled game had released first, it might have soured gamers' interest in that well-received sequel.
Still it's fun to take a peek behind the scenes and see what projects were in development that never made it to the promo stage. And while hindsight is 20/20, most of the time the cancelled projects make strong cases for why they were cancelled in the first place.
Other times, though, a game like Star Wars 1313 or the cancelled Darth Maul game comes along to remind us that potentially exciting games can get cancelled as well. Whether Saints Row: The Cooler would have been one of those games, we can't really say.
Do you like the idea of a brawler set in the Saints Row universe? Why do you think the game was cancelled?
Source: Unseen 64