A cancelled Saints Row PSP game has been revealed.
Dubbed Saints Row: Undercover, the canned project was shuttered in 2009 when developer Volition and then-publisher THQ decided it wasn't up to scratch with the series' standards.
Amusingly, most folks at Volition these days didn't even know it existed. As explained in the video below, Volition associate video editor Josh Stinson simply happened upon the game laying in a wayward PSP dev kit tucked away in a storage room.
Enthused by the discovery, Stinson started asking around. Most people he spoke with had no idea it existed, while senior staff felt like it would be best not revealed as it's an unfinished game from seven years ago on now archaic hardware. But Stinson and other colleagues, like video producer Alexander Mejia and community manager Mike Watson, pushed for the public to know about it.
"It was supposed to be a Saints Row 2 port directly to the PSP and then they realised 'uh, we can't actually do this.' So then they started making [it] its own game," Mejia explained.
An unnamed outside studio was hired for the project. "Volition isn't a handheld developer, so when projects like this come up we get an outside studio to work on it," Watson explained. "And Volition is very involved with the review process. And both old THQ and Volition looked at the project and after multiple reviews felt that it really wasn't living up to what a Saints Row game could and should be."
That's not to say that Saints Row: Undercover wasn't pretty far into development before the project was canned. "It was honestly kind of shocking that this was so far along," Stinson said. "The fans love Saints Row. They want to know everything about it."
Initially Volition resisted the idea. "They want to show only polished things. They want to show like final concept art. They want to show final screenshots," Watson said. But eventually the video producers and community manager convinced the higher-ups to unveil the unfinished handheld title.
"I think it's really cool that things have gone so well with what we're doing and giving more exposure to the studio and giving fans a look inside at how the sausage gets made," Watson said.
So to that end, Volition will live-stream Saints Row: Undercover on 28th January at 10pm UK time on Twitch.