THQ: The Future of Gaming Is Lower Prices, More DLC

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THQ: The Future of Gaming Is Lower Prices, More DLC

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THQ President Brian Farrell said that the company will release the next MX Vs. ATV racing sim at a lower price and offer DLC from there.

Farrell noticed that when MX vs. ATV Reflex was released in late 2009 at the full retail price of $59.99, it did all right. But when THQ was able to lower the price to $39.99, sales soared and the company made a hefty amount from downloadable content. That pricing sweet spot is what Farrell believes is the future of the videogame industry. He described his plan for the next MX vs ATV game to the people attending the BMO Capital Markets conference this week.

"What we're thinking about the business is we're turning it on its head a little bit," Farrell said "It's not,'how high a price can we get', but 'how many users.' If you can capture everyone under that economic curve, that's where you can make the most money.

"When we launched [MX vs. ATV] at $59.99, we'd do some units, and then when we brought the price down to the mass market-friendly price of $39.99, it would just pop," he said. "So the thinking this time is, let's initially launch at $39.99 - it's a very robust game, very high quality, so this is not about trying to get a secondary title out.

"It's an AAA title, at that price point, but then with a series of DLC so people can extend their experience," Farrell said. "We think this is the future of gaming. We think that's the way games are gonna go in the long term."

It's an interesting theory, and I'm curious to see how it will all pan out for MX vs. ATV. I feel like this kind of plan could work for a racing game like that, but I'm not so sure about AAA action games or shooters.

Source: Gamasutra

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Hm, I could see this working... Maybe...

I reckon THQ could probably pull it off for their games... cause they want to do that whole 'pre-order DLC' thing.

Still if I can get Metro 2034 for a tenner cheaper then that's damn good in my books!

I refuse to buy DLC because in my opinion it's the gaming equivalent of beating a dead horse with a new stick.

I can see that working.

Extra Credits much?

I absolutely agree with this.

I think its a brilliant idea and ooh ooh ooh ooh, I can definitely see it working.

I'd take it a step further. Put the barrier to entry at almost nothing---like $9.99 or $19.99. Then DLC the shit out of it.

The kinds of gamers who don't buy AAA titles or wait for them to hit the bargain bin never spend more than $20 on a game anyway. The kinds of gamers who are like WANT!!! when it comes to their favorite titles could probably be persuaded to part with $10 a month for DLC releases over a life cycle that could be planned out almost like an MMO and next thing you know you've sold them $200 worth of DLC.

It might be worth trying, but it's a hell of a risk and nobody knows risk-averse like game publishers (especially in this economy.)

Cheaper Games, more DLC?

I am okay with this.

I like the lower price point, but DLC is just an excuse to wait to buy the GOTY/Gold pack. Just PLEASE keep games at the $50 price point, because that is a fair price for a good game.

I don't believe this one bit. If anything it will be 60 bucks with DLC because shareholders expect gigantic profits. Moving towards lower costs and DLC will deflate the entire video game industry(yes retail does count).

If anything I see a change in game design and not for the better for the next generation through micro transactions. As in buying items and getting more powerful regardless of player level. So a complete idiot at playing games will be god mode(without the cheat) because they are willing to buy all that power.

I can see that working.
Just don't go cutting out content from the core game, to make up for the lower price and sell the cut content as DLC later.
Then, all together, it would still be $60 and we wouldn't get anywhere.

Also, if DLC does become more common, don't recycle core game parts into a new area with a hand-full of missions. Create completely new experiences within the game with new items, creatures, and environments. Don't expect the consumer to pay for the same stuff, just in a different order. Make DLC a worthy addition to the game, not a cheap cash-grab.

Em how about lower price and lowered price DLC? Or just stick with they have now? Most DLC is absolutely pathetic I don't want to buy an unfinished game not matter what the price only to have it basically officially modded the crap out of so a dev can stealth more money out of me in the long run. If they want to do proper DLC like expansions fair enough but this will eventually turn into unfinished games made into proper games for probably twice of thrice the price due to this drip fed DLC.

Signa:
I like the lower price point, but DLC is just an excuse to wait to buy the GOTY/Gold pack. Just PLEASE keep games at the $50 price point, because that is a fair price for a good game.

Says the guy who runs the Deals on Steam thread on Gaming Discussion.

I don't know about anyone else, but to get fifty bucks out of me a game's gotta be pretty damn special...but launch at $30 or $40 and you're likely to bypass my "too much money" filter and get me in on the ground floor---and I spend an embarrassing amount of money on DLC for those very few games (less than five) each year that I buy.

To them, it makes sense. After all, you can't buy DLC used. Nor will it lower in price.

But I'd rather they didn't do this. I can fish for games on the cheap. That's what Amazon, Steam and eBay (though we're not friends anymore) are for.

And this would be especially annoying if we'd need to pay an additional £20 for all the content when the price has been lowered £10. But that can't really be measured in any way...

I'm just thinking CoD when I look at this. My old house-mates had to grit their teeth and buy all the DLC because they didn't want to get kicked out of games.

When DLC stops treading the fine line between newly created and worthwhile extra content and shit that should've been in the original game in the first place, then I'll be happy with something like this.

Borderlands DLC got it right, Dragon Age got it horribly wrong barring one or two of the DLC packs. Day 1 DLC is a definite anathema, unless it's well known that the time between game finishing (or going gold or whatever the terminology is) and being released has been long.

Prefer dedicated expansion packs to be honest, whether they required the original game or not. For some reason the price of some of them rarely comes down, but they always offer far more content than DLC. And although DLC is cheaper up front, in the long run (as I'm sure the people who've bought every bit of DA DLC can attest to) and expansion is better.

To date, the only DLC I've paid for and NOT felt ripped off by was Alan Wake's DLC. And I guess the Liara pack on ME2, but barely. Not a fan of this philosophy at all.

I actually quite like this idea. What I'd love for it to turn into is a system where the initial game is cheaper than they are now, and then there's a wide range of DLC offered so you can essentially pick and choose the bits you want to play. Take CoD for example. Not interested in the singleplayer? That's fine, don't buy it.

It's perhaps a little optimistic, but I'd love if it happened, or at least if someone tried it.

It will get more expensive for the players if you want to get the full gaming experience..

I hate DLC's..

This is bollocks.

SimuLord:

Signa:
I like the lower price point, but DLC is just an excuse to wait to buy the GOTY/Gold pack. Just PLEASE keep games at the $50 price point, because that is a fair price for a good game.

Says the guy who runs the Deals on Steam thread on Gaming Discussion.

I don't know about anyone else, but to get fifty bucks out of me a game's gotta be pretty damn special...but launch at $30 or $40 and you're likely to bypass my "too much money" filter and get me in on the ground floor---and I spend an embarrassing amount of money on DLC for those very few games (less than five) each year that I buy.

Operative words: GOOD games. Steam does offer a lot of good games, for cheap, but passable games become worth owning when they are dirt cheap. I will still buy games at full price if I think they are worth it. I bought Borderlands and L4D2 at full price last year because I thought they were worth it.

The whole philosophy of that thread is that most games there are worth the price, because even if you hate it, it's probably better to have the game for the event that one of your friends will want to play the game with you at some point, than to have the almost useless amount of money on hand for other purposes.

Same goes with DLC, but it almost never is worth the price. I want full expansions, not some drip-fed bonus features/levels that have little bearing on the game. Even the DLC in Borderlands pissed me off, because every single one was accessible from the start because they never implemented a great way to present the new content. I'm sure that MS wants players to be able to play new DLC once purchased too. It's stupid! I used to buy expansions to games I loved because they completed the story or just added an extra half of a game so I could keep playing after I beat the original. Now they are cheap, tack-ons that don't feel like anything other than a moneygrab.

I'd rather part with a lump sum than spread the cost evenly.

Otherwise it just gives them incentive to create a full game and only release a partial title intially. They will get more money out of you, for the same content if DLC became the de-fact profit area.

don't get me wrong. I love DLC. But I'm of the group who think that DLC should be low cost. And truly be an extra. I don't want to pay £10 for 5 maps that had already been finished before release. A few months down the line. Sure add some maps into it. Add a few more levels that slot in with the story. Add a new character or 2. That's all fine by me and I do buy a fair amount of DLC. I'm not a fan of having to unlock data that should have already been on the game at release though.

Sounds terrible and will only lead to lower quality/shorter games upon release as "We'll save that content for DLC" will become the mantra of certain studios.

The future of gaming is common sense? HOLY SHIT!
Lower price point = larger install base. Larger install base = more people who may be interested in DLC.
But yeah, I trust THQ but not other companies. Others will be fucking douchebags and rip out a lot of content that should already have been in game and add it as DLC.

Greg Tito:
"It's an AAA title, at that price point, but then with a series of DLC so people can extend their experience," Farrell said. "We think this is the future of gaming. We think that's the way games are gonna go in the long term."

Ugh...that made my balls hurt.

Anyway, sounds good, as long as the base game has enough content to satisfy the consumers. Not everyone wants to dish out money for DLC's. It really depends how low the game price is.

What about those who can't go online? What the fuck are those people going to do THQ?!

If the game they sell is worth $40 or whatever they are charging then fine. If they are charging $40 for an engine demo then you pay another for the game content they are wankers.

Oh and a hint for the marketroids, my impulse buy threshold is $5. More than that and I start thinking about it.

Also I think there should be MORE horse armor, outfits, hair styles, skins etc as DLC. Because morons will buy that and the developers and publishers make more money, while I don't and get more and better games, so really everyone wins.

no,no no no no nonononono....NO.

this is the exact opposite direction you should be going, we're already on the trend of 'release a broken unfinished game, fix it with patches later and milk DLC out of the consumers desperation to get a complete experience', and it is not good.

...please... take a journey with me fellow escapists, to a different time. a time when a game had to be released completely finished, as is, and with no quick and easy patching had to be in working order as is. a time when an expansion pack to an existing title had to be damn full of content to warrant a purchase.

...but that time is long gone, and the age of broken moneygrabs has descended upon us. if we are to have any hope of returning to the era of gaming paradise, we must remind publishers that, yes, games are frikken hard to make and take a long ass time, but that is the glory of it; for all the struggle, you will have realized what a cohesive, entertaining experience the developers countless hours of dedication have produced; a singular experience of pure awesome, that if awesome enough could result in being able to release expansions to the game with half the content at 3/5 the price and totally being worth it.

or, you could take this route; give developers 6 months to shrug their way through 1/3 of a game, release it barely finished for cheap, gather no fans to your partial game, then work on DLC to make back your investment that no one will play because no one bought the broken, 2 hour mess you released initially.

hype for big titles, release day events, all the excitement AAA titles garner with the promise of full gaming experiences...you will kill it all. please, dont. for the love of gamers everywhere, and for the love of my money, dont. your the only publisher with any semblance of sense left THQ, dont lose your marbles now.

Tenmar:
I don't believe this one bit. If anything it will be 60 bucks with DLC because shareholders expect gigantic profits. Moving towards lower costs and DLC will deflate the entire video game industry(yes retail does count).

Not quite. With lower prices, they will expect to sell more units and have more people out there in the potential market for the DLC (in turn selling more units without the middle man). It is basic economics, and I doubt pseudo-annual sports games will suffer from this drop considering their marginal costs are relatively low.

Video games operate in an oligopoly (few sellers with many barriers to entry) and to maximize profits they need to set prices (because of the oligopoly they are allowed to set prices) where the marginal costs equal the marginal gains. By lowering costs (half produced game with a multitude of DLC) they can lower the price and have the same marginal gains. In fact, they could earn more money because the DLC costs are paid to them meaning the only people suffering would be retailers since they won't see the extra payments from the DLC.

I like this idea though I have trouble seeing the idea taking off with certain people.

Well, it's nice to know Farrell has a brain compared to the likes of what passes for one in Kotick's head. Good show, THQ, I (and I imagine many others from what I've read in the comments so far) agree.

In other words: "...making you pay for shit that should have been in the game in the first place."

Fuck you with a fist, THQ.

Frotality:
no,no no no no nonononono....NO.

this is the exact opposite direction you should be going, we're already on the trend of 'release a broken unfinished game, fix it with patches later and milk DLC out of the consumers desperation to get a complete experience', and it is not good.

...please... take a journey with me fellow escapists, to a different time. a time when a game had to be released completely finished, as is, and with no quick and easy patching had to be in working order as is. a time when an expansion pack to an existing title had to be damn full of content to warrant a purchase.

...but that time is long gone, and the age of broken moneygrabs has descended upon us. if we are to have any hope of returning to the era of gaming paradise, we must remind publishers that, yes, games are frikken hard to make and take a long ass time, but that is the glory of it; for all the struggle, you will have realized what a cohesive, entertaining experience the developers countless hours of dedication have produced; a singular experience of pure awesome, that if awesome enough could result in being able to release expansions to the game with half the content at 3/5 the price and totally being worth it.

or, you could take this route; give developers 6 months to shrug their way through 1/3 of a game, release it barely finished for cheap, gather no fans to your partial game, then work on DLC to make back your investment that no one will play because no one bought the broken, 2 hour mess you released initially.

hype for big titles, release day events, all the excitement AAA titles garner with the promise of full gaming experiences...you will kill it all. please, dont. for the love of gamers everywhere, and for the love of my money, dont. your the only publisher with any semblance of sense left THQ, dont lose your marbles now.

Those where the days.....but yeah, I hate this plan. Mainly becuase I can't download things online. The idea is too realish shorter games and lower pricers more often. Not put out about of DLCs to milk people for more money.

This sounds like a rebuttle to the supermeatboy devs who said episodic gaming is terrible.

There's two ways I can really look at this. Tell me if I'm wrong.

Downside: You might end up paying more for games than you normally would. To get all the maps on a gmae, plus weapon packs, costume packs and stuff mite end up costing a bit more than a pretty penny.

Upside: You may be able to choose what game features you want in a game. You would only have to buy the game levels that you're interested in, or game features, meaning you cut out all the other crap that you were never going to use in a game anyway.

Maybe. I'd still prefer to have whole games tho, with good and bad. Kinda like a condom, it's better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. ;P

I like this idea

1. I get a game on the cheep.

2. If I like said game a lot then I will buy some DLC.

3. If the game is not in my taste I don't have to buy DLC and I save around 20$.

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