The Saints Row franchise, created by Volition Incorporated and originally published by THQ, is a series of open world action games. The original game in the franchise, Saints Row, has gone on to be a multimillion seller. The series has also garnered attention due to its deep character customization and expansion of the concepts presented in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, such as gang rivalries, car customization, and a respect system. Due to THQ's bankruptcy, Saints Row, along with Volition, were sold to Deep Silver in 2013.
The Saints Row series began as a relatively grounded and serious story centered around a new recruit in the 3rd Street Saints, a gang in the city of Stilwater fighting for survival amidst conflicts with three larger, more powerful gangs. However, what began as a take on the suburban gangster lifestyle shifted direction in Saints Row 2, emphasizing more comedic elements. Saints Row 2 takes place in Stilwater again, but this time focuses on attempting to rebuild the 3rd Street Saints after the events of the first game. In Saints Row: The Third, any notion that the series took itself seriously was thrown out the window, as the game was designed upon a ludicrous series of set pieces permeated with absurd humor that all but abandoned the more serious tones of the earlier games. Following the events of 2, the Saints have complete control of Stilwater and are massive celebrities, so the action shifts to the new city of Steelport. Building on the absurdity of the 3rd game, Saints Row IV goes even further, giving the gang control of the White House, adding super powers that the player may use, and introducing aliens. The series will be making its first appearance on the current generation with Saints Row IV: Re-Elected and Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell.