THQ : Future Console Game Could Be Cheap, Even Free

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THQ boss Brian Farrell believes that console games will drop from their current $60 price points to a much more reasonable $30-$40, and may even become free to play. Before you put on your party pants, there’s a huge caveat.

Games will typically be stripped-down and shipped with less on-disc content than we get right now, with the option to download up to about $100’s worth of extra content. It’s a model they’ll be experimenting with next year with their release of MX Vs ATV, their popular off-road racing title.

"You might know we are the industry leader in off-road racing in gaming with our MXVs ATV brand," Farrell said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York. "In the past, we’ve seen that we bring the game out at $59.99 and it does reasonably well – around one million, or one million-and-a-half units.
"When we lower the price to a mass market price the thing really jumps… So what we’re doing this time is we’re coming out initially with a smaller game at a lower price point – the $29 to $39 range.”

"We’re then doing a download model for different modes, different tracks, different vehicles. It’s what we call a hybrid – it’s a bit of the microtransaction and DLC model.It does a couple of things: I’m a big believer in monetising under the curve, so we capture that $29 to $39 user no matter what, and a person that wants to spend $100 on the product can do so as well.

Finally adding : "I think that’s the future of gaming – whether it’s this model or a take on the free-to-play model. It’s where our industry is going and this is a very, very interesting experiment with one of our key brands."

What do you think? Would you be keen on paying less for games, but then having to empty a virtual wallet (of real money) to flesh out the game? I’m not exactly enamoured by the idea of millions of microtransactions myself, but it all depends on how it’s done. If the DLC amounts to superfluous add-ons, then I have no problems with the idea.

If, however, paying for DLC adds a competitive edge to multiplayer, or you have to buy the endings of single player games, then they can sod right off. I sincerely hope that THQ’s experiment doesn’t quite work out as well as planned, lest other publishers follow the same route. If THQ manages to pull in over $100 for a $60 game from most users, the size of Activision boss Bobby Kotick’s erection would likely block out the sun, possibly leading to another ice-age, and the end of civilisation as we know it.

Source : CVG

Last Updated: September 27, 2010

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