“It’s about half way through our interview, one in which Rubin talks bluntly about past mistakes of THQ, of the problems he foresees for the company, of the challenges he and THQ face, that I broach the subject of Saints Row the Third.
I haven’t played the game, I confess to Rubin, because I wouldn’t want to be caught playing it by my wife or my son. It would be embarrassing.
While most reviews for the game were positive, Edge Magazine seems to have felt the same way when they gave the game a relatively low score in their review, calling the title a “fratboyish endorsement of crime and female degradation, devoid of any conscience or commentary.”
Saints Row the Third isn’t a bad game, but it’s not the sort I’d want to play, I tell Rubin. Then I ask him if he thinks that’s an issue.
“That’s why I am here,” he said, after saying he wants more from Volition, “because of what you just said.”
To be clear, Rubin isn’t saying there isn’t any room in his company “for a game that features a purple dildo,” in fact he points out there are now two such games (the other is South Park: The Stick of Truth). But that sensibility isn’t always a good fit for a studio.
“It works for South Park, but I’m not sure it does elsewhere,” he said. “I don’t think (Volition) chose to do what they did because they had all of the options available to them. It was the environment at the time.
“I know I can change that.”