This summer, we found out about Saint’s Row: Drive-bya spin-off game for XBLA and Nintendo 3DS. After months of speculation, THQ’s Danny Bilson has revealed that the company’s plans for the game have changed—for the better. The upcoming title for XBLA is set to contain completely new content and gameplay mechanics separate from the main Saint’s Row franchise.

According to an interview from Shacknews, Bilson and his team decided that they didn’t want to release a simple mini-game excerpt (like Fable II‘s Pub Games) or a prequel teaser (like Dead Rising 2: Case Zero).

We wound up feeling the game we were building was too much like a section of Saint’s Row that you could play in Saint’s Row. Now we’ve come up with a new design with a completely original game mechanic and we’re building out something that supports Saint’s Row with that. Because you don’t want to play something that you can play within the main experience. It’s actually a really cool, unique game we haven’t announced yet for Xbox Live.

Of course, we still don’t have much in the way of details on Saint’s Row: Drive-by. And that includes release date and pricing. Apparently, Drive-by will help you unlock exclusive content in Saint’s Row 3. We’d also be willing to bet that THQ times this perfectly to promote Saint’s Row 3—and makes it easy on the wallet. Here’s hoping.

Via Joystiq