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Beloved Saints Row Community Developer Mike Watson Has Died Following Cancer Battle

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Beloved Saints Row Community Developer Mike Watson Has Died Following Cancer Battle

It's no secret that Saints Row 2 is a fantastic game let down by a massively shoddy outsourced PC port. The 2008 open-world crime game was in a sorry state on the platform at launch, and remained that way. For many years, fans were forced to rely on community mods - nothing official could be done, as the PC port's source code had gone missing.

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But in 2019, developer Volition was finally able to track down the elusive PC source code and vowed to fix Saints Row 2. Development on this project was led by one dedicated Saints Row fan and passionate Community Developer: Mike Watson, AKA IdolNinja. This week, Watson sadly passed away.


Watson battled stage 4 cancer throughout 2020, but still found the time to let fans know what he was going through over on Volition Games' Facebook page. He even continued working through this period whenever he felt well enough, but was unfortunately forced to step away from his leading role in May of this year when the cancer returned "with a vengeance".

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Even though he was no longer leading the project, Watson promised he wouldn't stop contributing and decided he'd "continue to work on this for as long as I am able".

"You are probably wondering what will happen with the Saints Row 2 patch project," Watson wrote back in May. "While I will no longer be managing Community, I will continue to work on this for as long as I am able. Please understand that it is 100% my choice to spend my last days contributing to it. Both Volition and Deep Silver have been incredibly supportive and have always given me the opportunity to leave the project with a solemn vow to make sure it gets finished without me.

"We have also been planning for this eventual moment, and brought on additional programming help some time ago to make sure it happens. While I am hesitant to give any kind of timeline, I can say that there have been huge strides made. I am confident that it will meet everyone's high expectations and standards (including mine.)"

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Watson's death was confirmed in a post from a Volition employee that ultimately had to be deleted as so-called "fans" used it as a platform to complain about the recently announced reboot. Ryan McCabe, a lead gameplay designer at Archetype Entertainment, later shared his own tribute describing Watson as "the best of us".

Our thoughts and condolences are with Mike's family and friends.

Featured Image Credit: Deep Silver

Topics: saints row, News

Ewan Moore
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