While not entirely dismissing the idea of the $60 AAA game, THQ CEO Brian Farrell seems to be focusing on digital delivery of games and content as the real revenue driver for his company going forward.
In an interview with Forbes
, Farrell talked up the reduced-price model the company is debuting with the upcoming MX vs. ATV Alive
, which will release at a lowered price of $40
in the the hopes of attracting a larger user base to purchase over 100 pieces of downloadable content.
"If we deliver an experience that the gamer values and wants more of, we build on that with digitally delivered downloadable content, which has the effect of increasing the average revenue per user," he said.
Purely digital game distribution has been a boon for THQ, Farrell said, both because of lower overall distribution fees and because it eliminates the need to maintain costly inventory. The main thing holding the digital market back on consoles, he said, is limited bandwidth and storage space to accommodate the large files needed for major releases.
Farrell had unspecified concerns about the digital business model offered by the major console makers, with regards to third-party publishers like THQ, saying that the current status quo is limiting the growth of free-to-play games on the systems.
"We need to work with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo on the business model that works for both them and us," he said.
Farrell also took the opportunity to dismiss the idea that middling reviews may have hurt
the performance of alternate history shooter Homefront
, saying that first week sales of one million units
show that recommendations from friends are more important.
"There’s no doubt that players are making more informed decisions when it comes to purchasing a game," he said. "Some of that is from looking up reviews from their favorite gaming publications but a lot of their decisions are still based on word-of-mouth."