With boxed-product sales dropping off last year, you would wonder if any companies would try an innovative or alternative approach to bring those sales back up. Brian Farell, THQ executive, introduced a new pricing model for games allowing gamers to pay a low price point in the hope of a bigger transaction later. Specifically, selling smaller games for less money and then sell DLC later.
Farell said, “So what we’re doing this time is coming out initially with a smaller game at a lower price point, at the $29-$39 range, and then doing a download model for different modes, different tracks, different vehicles. We call it hybrid because it’s a take on the microtransaction and DLC models.”
But the keyword is “smaller”. Are the smaller games a full playable game or a $30 demo? If it is a $29-$39 demo, you have to be crazy to sell half a game and then tell the consumer “To Finish This Game You Must Go Online, Purchase, Download and Install”. There are several gamers who wait until the price drops for a flagship title because of the initial $60 price. It’s a risky move but with a $29-$39 range, those skeptical gamers may hop on board along with the usual consumers. Thus, THQ will have their target audience and then some to make up for the $29-$39. Now, not everyone will get DLC. But those who do get it, will help increase the bottom line.
As long as consumers know that the game itself is of great quality then they should be set. Unlike EA or Activision, THQ isn’t sitting on a yearly franchise that pays the bills. Exploring alternative ways for gamers to purchase products isn’t a bad idea but companies shouldn’t force gamers to get DLCs.
Copyright © (2011) A Guy Called Dave