THQ's UDraw failure "invalidated" Saints Row: The Third's success
Posted: 22.03.2013 15:00 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
All the good that Volition's Saints Row: The Third did for publisher THQ commercially was effectively written off by the huge faceplant that was UDraw for Xbox and PS3, suggests Volition's Jim Boone.

Around that time Jason Ruben joined and THQ and things started looking up again, bolstering Volition's confidence, but they could already see the writing on the wall by then.

UDraw was a painfully harsh lesson for THQ that people just weren't interested in a bunch more plastic peripherals even if they could 'draw' stuff with it outside the Wii.

"Yeah, itís interesting," Boone replies in our interview. We asked him if they saw THQ's demise hurtling toward them.

"What really got us thinking long and hard was when Saints Row: The Third came out. Because hereís this game, weíre so proud of it, and itís a huge success... but thatís also the same time where the UDraw came out for PS3 & 360, and we lost about $100 million on days." While UDraw did well on Wii, the tablet did awful when it came to Xbox 360 and PS3.

During the US holiday sales it drew $100 million below expectations with 1.4 million units unsold by February 2012. It was a disaster that plunged the quarter into $56 million worth of debt, which would have been otherwise profitable. It led to the Red Faction series being shelved, which Volition Inc. created.

"When you have a failure of that magnitude coupled with a success of that magnitude, I mean basically all our success was invalidated by that, it was tough to look at that and think ďIs it just business as usual then? Or did we just get dealt a death blow?Ē That was where I think the... it wasnít clear at that point, but thatís when Jason Ruben came in and things started to change, because we were worried that things maybe werenít going to work for THQ, but Jason was awesome."

"He had some really clear strategies on a corporate level that seemed like they were going to work, so that made us think everything was going to be alright," continued Boone. "I mean he got outside investors who were willing to invest. But it didnít work out at the end of the day. But thatís a long way of saying that, yeah, we kind of saw the writing on the walls, but started to feel a little bit better with Jason, but ultimately it didnít work out."

Today Volition Inc. and the Saints Row IP are owned by publisher Deep Silver.

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