‘Saints Row’ community developer Mike Watson aka IdolNinja has died

After a long illness

Mike Watson – aka, IdolNinja, senior community developer leading the Saints Row patch project at Volition – has died after suffering from stage four cancer for over a year.

The news was confirmed by his friend and former work colleague, Ryan McCabe, who posted on Resetera, as spotted by PCGamer.

The senior community developer had to step down from his position as Volition’s community manager in May due to his health problems but continued to work on the Saints Row 2 patch project, writing at the time 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.”


Previously, Watson was considered an expert modder of Saints Row having fixed many of the PC port’s issues with his Gentlemen of the Row mod. He also developed the Sandbox+ mod for Saints Row: The Third as well as parts of the mod compilation Things To Do In Steelport and numerous mods for Saints Row 4.

In doing so, he rose up to the ranks of community manager at Volition and led work on an official patch for Saints Row 2.

The news regarding Watson’s death was originally posted on Twitter by a Volition employee but the tweet was subsequently deleted after fans of the series used it to complain about the recently announced reboot of the series.

Following its removal, McCabe posted on Resetera explaining that “Mike was one of the best of us, and the world is no doubt darker without him in it.” He continued by sharing anecdotes about their friendship including their joint love for horror movies, and a fond Christmas movie marathon they enjoyed together in 2017.

Yesterday, the Saints Row reboot was announced at Gamescom 2021 with an expected release date of February 25, 2022.

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