"The interesting thing about the [3DS] game is we were already making it," explains THQ vice president of core games Danny Bilson in an interview with IndustryGamers. "We were already making it as our Xbox Live game and in 3D also. It's designed for 3D already. So the 3DS version is an incremental cost. It's not a big startup cost."
Even more interesting is the transparency with which Bilson speaks concerning the 3DS/XBLA game's existence as a marketing tool for Saints Row 3.
Anything in a transmedia play has a column called marketing in it. It's also a marketing tool. So how does that game model for us? I believe it will do great, especially if Nintendo is going to go mature and really do a big mature campaign on it. It's a killer game. It's got all the weird humor of Saints Row, and also its existence is part of the marketing plan to sell Saints Row 3. Also, all these games have hooks where, if you play it, it unlocks things in Saints Row 3. If you play Saints Row 3, it will unlock things in the 3DS game or the Xbox Live game. I don't know if I was clear about that, but all of our extension properties all connect and unlock things in each other.
I'm curious to see how THQ will handle content unlocking across the console versions of Saints Row 3 available on the PC, PlayStation3, and Xbox 360 by playing the 3DS version of the game. Saints Row: Drive-By is due out as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS, which will be released before March 31, 2011.