The planned standalone expansion for Saints Row: The Third, Enter the Dominatrix, has been merged with Saints Row 4.
Publisher THQ revealed to Eurogamer that Enter the Dominatrix has essentially been cancelled, with all of its content instead merged into the next entry in the hit franchise.
THQ president Jason Rubin revealed, "When I looked at the Enter The Dominatrix expansion in production at Volition, I was blown away by the ideas and desire to expand the fiction of the franchise.
"I asked the team what it could achieve given more time, more resources, and a broader scope for the project. We all agreed we wanted to play that game.
"When it comes to Saints Row, it's clear our fans want bigger, better, and even more over the top, and that's why Enter The Dominatrix will now be incorporated into a vastly expanded, full-fledged sequel, scheduled for calendar 2013."
Rubin also apparently revealed that the profits for the rescheduled production won't appear until the financial year ending 2014, meaning a release is likely to take place after April 2013.
Enter the Dominatrix originally started life as an April Fool's joke, before the company decided to pursue the project. With its admittedly risqué content, it's not a surprise that the game will be merged with Saints Row 4. Before leaving the company in May, former THQ president Danny Bilson claimed the follow-up to Saints Row: The Third would be "wilder".
Saints Row 4 could be headed to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this August, rather than on the next-generation consoles expected to launch this fall. Publisher Deep Silver, who picked up the property following the dissolution of THQ, has yet to confirm any details. However, Chris Stockman, design director on the original Saints Row, tweeted to IGN that "the word around the campfire is SR4 is shipping on current gen consoles in late August." IGN inquired with Deep Silver, who stated it's "still working on [timing] with Volition," and that it hasn't "announced platforms yet." Previously, Saints Row: Enter the Dominatrix, an expansion to Saints Row: The Third, was rolled up into a full-fledged sequel. An August date for that particular game would put it a month ahead of its open-world rival, Grand Theft Auto V and its September release date. Speaking with GI.biz, Deep Silver's parent company, Koch Media, supported this notion. CEO Klemens Kundratitz said there's "no doubt" the next Saints Row will release in 2013.