Saints Row: Drive By was announced for the then newly-unveiled Nintendo 3DS at E3 2010. Other than the title and platform, very few details were announced about the game itself. A spinoff of the Saints Row franchise, it was set to take place in the fictional city of Stilwater, and cast the player as a member of the 3rd Street Saints street gang, perhaps the Boss, but that's just conjecture based on the rest of the series.
Publisher THQ recently confirmed that the title began life (in 3D no less) for Xbox Live Arcade, and that Nintendo wanted a stronger mature presence on the 3DS. Both versions of the game, reportedly, would have had some sort of have inter-operability with Saints Row 3, which was later retitled "Saints Row: The Third". The game was meant to take the series in a new direction, as said by THQ's Danny Bilson:
It's going to be a different. We actually changed the design and are doing something more unique... we wound up feeling the game we were building was too much like a section of Saints Row that you could play in Saints Row. Now we've come up with a new design with a completely original game mechanic and we're building out something that supports Saint's Row with that.
The game was originally planned to release on XBLA and PSN as well as on the 3DS. The PS3 and 360 versions of the game were cancelled on May 5th, 2011, the news of which was first leaked on LinkedIn before being confirmed by THQ. Development on the 3DS has since also been cancelled.