Saints Row is the closest facsimile that we have to Grand Theft Auto, and there was a time when people considered them as actual competitors. But, with the arrival and the sustained popularity of GTA 5, the two franchises aren't even close anymore. If you need proof, you won't need to look any further than last month's sales numbers of GTA 5 and the Saints Row reboot.
After being revealed last year, Deep Silver Volition's new Saints Row was supposed to herald the second coming of the franchise. Instead, it looks like it's back to the drawing board for the studio.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, GTA 5 outsold the Saints Row reboot by a slight margin in European markets. It didn't reveal how many units Saints Row old, but GTA 5 posted a total of 7.7 million copies in sales.
This is a bummer when you consider that Saints Row aimed to be the interim GTA replacement as fans wait for GTA 6. Although selling close to 7 million units is not half bad (assuming that the gap between GTA 5 and Saints Row isn't that wide), we're sure Deep Silver Volition and Embracer Group would have loved to have sold more if only to help mitigate the sting of the negative backlash to the new title at launch.
If it's any consolation, these numbers are exclusive to the European market. NPD's data shows that GTA 5 didn't even come close to sniffing the top 10 in the United States. Instead, Madden NFL 23 was last month's top seller followed by Saints Row and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered.
Playing second fiddle in two of the biggest video game markets in the world is nothing to scoff at. Besides, GTA 5 is an outlier. It's a rare gaming phenomenon that its sequel, GTA 6, will have a hard time matching. We're hoping that Deep Silver doesn't see the lack of sales for Saints Row as a loss; the franchise deserves a chance to expand if only because more competition is always better for us consumers even if it's not much of a contest.