While I was checking out Agents of Mayhem from Volition, I got to wondering, why are all of Volition’s games purple?

With Agents of Mayhem, “It’s something we decided quite early on,” said Design Director Anoop Shekar. “Our brand has now become so identified through Saints Row that we thought it was a great way to leverage it for people to be able to recognize it and say ‘hey, that reminds me of Saints Row‘ – but not ‘This is Saints Row.'”

But why purple in particular?

Back when Volition was originally developing Saint’s Row, apparently the Saints gang was green. In an interview published on Volition’s blog, Senior Designer Doug Nelson talked about the decision.

“We had been well underway into making the game long before [Grand Theft Auto] San Andreas was announced,” Nelson said. “We were probably halfway through development when we first saw the teaser trailer. We were all sitting around watching it and said, ‘Oh man! They already made a gang-oriented game!'”

San Andreas

Not only that had the team at Rockstar hit on the same idea as them and beaten them to the punch, the core gang was the same color – green.

“It was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s all of the things, they did all of the things we’re doing!”

By that time, the team had blue, yellow and red gangs lined up for the game, and the color green was meant to symbolize money. The primary colors had been integrated into those gangs pretty extensively, so the team sat down and looked at what was available.

“Purple was the next choice because it was the color of royalty and wealth,” he said “So we sort of picked that color because we didn’t want to have too many things in common with San Andreas. It was really something we were able to change fairly easily, and now we kind of own the color.”

The same way we associate magenta with T-Mobile and brown with UPS, gamers in particular recognize purple as being the color of Saints Row and Volition. Bad luck and quick thinking led the company to establish a clear visual band, something many developers struggle to do or intentionally avoid.

Agents of Mayhem hits PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 15, 2017.