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THQ Execs Discuss Growth Strategy, The Future Of DLC

Following up on the announcement of its <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/34488/THQ_Posts_136M_Loss_For_Fiscal_2011.php" target="_blank">fiscal 2011 losses</a>, THQ discussed some of the specifics of its coming year in a Gamasutra-attended confe

Frank Cifaldi, Contributor

May 3, 2011

3 Min Read

Following up on the announcement of its fiscal 2011 losses, THQ discussed some of the specifics of its coming year in a Gamasutra-attended conference call, focusing on its core game and digital initiatives. THQ's Growth Strategy THQ maintains that it is expecting significant growth in fiscal 2012 and 2013 based on three key initiatives: a steady flow of core game franchises, an expansion of its casual line-up, and increased digital revenues. The company is calling its fiscal 2012 core games line-up the strongest in its history. New titles coming during the calendar year include updates to its Saints Row, Red Faction, Warhammer 40,000, MX vs. ATV, UFC and WWE franchises. Its casual content will be focused on games for Kinect and its original tablet accessory, the uDraw, which the company just announced will expand to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this holiday. The company has revealed that six new titles will ship during the fiscal year. Only one of these, Kung Fu Panda 2, has thus far been announced, though the company is promising more at a "World of uDraw" showcase at E3. Finally, its digital growth will be driven by what it is calling a "digital ecosystem" of core console titles with a "robust DLC strategy" that includes traditional downloadable add-ons, online season passes to generate revenue from those purchasing its games pre-owned, and in-game stores and avatars. According to the company, its digital add-ons will generate between 25 and 40 percent of a product's overall revenue, depending on the title and how much content is made available. The Warhammer 40,000 MMO THQ's first Warhammer 40,000 MMO -- Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online -- is scheduled to ship during the company's fiscal 2013. Responding to an inquiry during the call's question and answer segment, the company revealed that its payment model will "probably be a hybrid" of subscription and microtransactions, saying that the U.S. and European versions of the game will be "primarily subscription-based," but that the company has the flexibility to use other business models depending on the tastes of a particular region. The company recently announced that it has extended its Warhammer 40,000 licensing agreement past its initial 2013 expiration, though it did not disclose how long the extension would run. Nintendo's Next System In response to questions regarding Nintendo's next home system -- specifically in regards to THQ's publishing strategy for it -- the company refused to give specifics, saying that it is "going to respect Nintendo's request to disclose the details about their system as they see fit." The company did add, however, that it is "excited by the prospect of new hardware next year," and that it is "looking forward to" working on the system. Homefront In response to a question regarding the profitability of its shooter Homefront, the company said in no uncertain terms that the game was profitable. "We've crossed the threshold where from this point forward not only are we profitable, but the incremental margins will be extremely high," said CEO Brian Farrell.

About the Author(s)

Frank Cifaldi


Frank Cifaldi is a freelance writer and contributing news editor at Gamasutra. His past credentials include being senior editor at 1UP.com, editorial director and community manager for Turner Broadcasting's GameTap games-on-demand service, and a contributing author to publications that include Edge, Wired, Nintendo Official Magazine UK and GamesIndustry.biz, among others. He can be reached at [email protected].

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