I remember that when Saints Row the Third came out, some fans and critics voiced either disappointment or loathing for it. It was too cartoony, too shallow, and trying too hard apparently. Gat “dying” upset a lot of people too. The reaction was strange. Saints Row 2 was loved specifically because of how over-the-top and not GTA IV it was, but SR3 was derided as being too goofy. By some at least, when it originally came out. I don’t really see that reaction anymore.
While I greatly enjoyed SR2 (when it didn’t crash on my PC), SR3 was when the series found its true identity. Whereas SR2 wanted to be funny but also serious at times, and in a way that wasn’t satisfying to me, SR3 was phenomenally good. Despite having removed certain customization options and seemingly not having as many buildings to explore, I loved it. It pretty much had none of the things that bugged me about SR2 and most of its strengths. I was quite fond of SRIV, too, especially the Christmas DLC. SRIV was just as “weirdly heartwarming” and “profane” as its predecessor.
So, it’s upsetting to hear that because a new title had poor sales, 30 or so Volition employees were laid off. This is the scary reality of game development: your job security is only as strong as the sales of your company’s most recent game. I have no idea what steps are needed to change that reality. But I do hope other companies hire those who were fired, because they’re obviously very talented.