THQ: Games Cost Too Much

Once in awhile a politician or an executive trips up and tells the truth. This time out, it’s THQ CEO Brian Farrell. Speaking to CNBC, Farrell tells Chris Morris that the price of videogames are too damn high – just like the rent in New York. The conversation began when Farrell was discussing the price of MX vs. ATV when it releases next year. Farrell pegged the price of that game at $40.

“I know investors worry about price points,” he says. “When we think about this business, we wonder if we can turn it on its head a bit. How many users can we capture? … The real key is expanding in the installed base.”

“We spent a lot of time in Asia watching that freemium model,” says Farrell “I think our markets [in the U.S.] are migrating that way, but you see it more in iPhone and iPad games right now. I think what we’re doing [with “MX vs. ATV”] shows us to be forward thinking. It’s a variation to that [freemium] theme.”

And while the game may not have a $60 price-point, Farrell sees a lot of extra money in the DLC the company has planned for it – like new vehicles.

Farrell calls this release an experiment, as the company finds new ways to make money outside of retail, and in some cases during the life of the product. SmackDown vs. RAW 2011 is a good example of that, offering those who want it a product lifetime subscription to deliver a steady stream of DLC.

Source: CNBC

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    FlakAttack says:

    I got the four-pack for BC2 on steam and it cost each of us $33 CAD. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made, totally worth it.

    As for Starcraft 2… $60 is totally over-priced. I don’t know if I can even justify $30 for it. It’s just too much like every other RTS ever made. Ever. I can’t say it enough, SC2 is the same strategy game we’ve been playing since C&C.

  2. 0
    Speeder says:

    Makes sense for overhyped games that are still not great (like… some of the CoD entries), and I think gamers expect that.


    But I know some old games you can buy now and find people online, most of them from Valve, like Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2 (seriously, my biggest issue with TF2 is the fact  that the servers near me are ALWAYS full, to play TF2 means spend 10 minutes clicking "join" in a server like nuts)


    — Maurício Gomes

  3. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    I wait for it to hit about $30 if I want to play the online multiplayer. Which seems to happen when it goes on-sale somewhere in the first 60 days, when they just didnt sell as many copies as they had hoped and panic. But then again I usually pick it up for the PC which is $10 cheaper almost on launch. (Example:BFBC2 cost me $28 for PC within 2 weeks of release)

    Most console games I end up buying used, off of some poor college student who needs the money to pay for books, usually for $5-$15 a game (ya I am a bit heartless there, but I was there once and got through it by playing CS:S and BF2 for 4 years)

    $30 seems to be a good number for those games that you just "have to have" but most I will forever wait for that $20 mark or lower.


    P.S. SCII I am watching for you

  4. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    Exactly, DLC’s that add significant hours to the play time of the game and are not made to expand on/cover up a "poor" / "lack of" story line are acceptable. I know that the GTA expansions are on my list of games I want to pick up.


  5. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    The newest 360 revision(fan on the top/side) seems to have more issues than the last one. I put mine through 4 hour sets of halo 3 and such and its running fine so is my aged and well worn used PS3 60GB unit, tho the BR lens seems a bit touchy at times. I picked up CCV:LOS PS3 at retail price minus a 25$ amazon coupon code I got from them, and even then I just wanted to see how bad bland generic re-visualizations can get. 😛

    CV:LOS is luke warm at best….which is the norm for todays standards…

    I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression!

  6. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Both the 360 and the PS3 have their strong points and plenty of great games.  I’m not debating that.  All I’m saying is $60 games are but one of the reasons I don’t own either system.  That does mean I am missing out on lots of great games though, no doubt about that.

    (And as I noted in an above comment, a friend of mine bought the new 360 last month and it red ringed out of the box.)


    Andrew Eisen

  7. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    The 360 is fine(the new revisions that is), a great game system, at least by modern standards(sad eh?). The PS3 is not bad either but more of a media machine and less of a game console.Still what rung ture in the *bit and 16bit days rings ture now, to have all the BEST games you need all the systems.

    Hell I got on live as fast as I could to buy the Brutal legend DLC


    PS:Jedi,quit whining and support the industry 😛

    I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression!

  8. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Same here, aside from the fact that buying a 360 is basically purchasing a timebomb, and the PS3 offers nothing you can’t get on the 360 or Wii.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  9. 0
    edmoss87 says:

    I think that’s more the abuse of selling DLC, rather than selling DLC itself. If you want an example of DLC done well, take a look at Rockstar. I doubt you could call huge games like GTA4 or Red Dead Redemption incomplete, but they released DLC packs which use the same game worlds to expand the single player experience by 10+ hours, which is more than many stand-alone games.

  10. 0
    greevar says:

    I entirely opposed to selling DLC for a game that you bought at retail. It just serves as an excuse to over-promise and under deliver, while leaving the option open to sell the rest of the game peicemeal to the paying customers.


  11. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Oh come now, if none of it interests you that’s one thing, but there’s plenty offered on the PS3 that can’t be found on the competing systems.

    I agree with you about the 360 though.  Probably the biggest reason I won’t buy one is I don’t trust the hardware to work.  I don’t know a single 360 owner who hasn’t had at least one fail.  A friend of mine just bought the new one last month and it red ringed right out of the box.


    Andrew Eisen

  12. 0
    Sirusjr says:

    It also means that the people who don’t care about different vehicles can enjoy the game for cheaper without paying extra.  I don’t see any developer using DLC in a way that is going to get me to pay money for it but it could happen and if done right might be worthwhile.  Then again, all these 8 hour games should be downloadable to begin with and cost $20.  

  13. 0
    Sirusjr says:

    Well the main reason anyone spends full price for a game on the day of release is if the game has an online component.  If you wait six months you won’t find very many people to play with on Call of Duty’s online multiplayer.  Otherwise I agree a prudent gamer could easily wait and pay $20 or $15 especially if you wait for the game to go on sale through gamefly’s used game sale they do every month.  

Leave a Reply