News Post

One THQ executive just told us that game prices are too high, but Danny Bilson, THQ's executive vice president of core games, wants to tell us again. While speaking with IGN, Bilson talked about the $40 business model a bit more.

I'm really excited what we're doing with MX vs. ATV. We're going to put out the best MX ever at $40 retail. We're not going to lock the used guy out of any online, they're going to have a full ticket to all the functionality. Within the game there's going to be an online store where we're going sell items to people where they can build at their choice. You can wind up paying more than $60 or less than $60. That model is really exciting to me; a game where you can build and invest as much as you want is great.

At a glance it almost seems like he's joining with Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick in criticizing EA's "Online Pass" idea. However, that would not make much sense since Bilson oversees the Smackdown vs. Raw franchise and the UFC Undisputed series -- two franchises that use a model that is not unlike the Online Pass prototype. So the only conclusion is that he's talking about the future.

I'm really excited about digital model going forward in terms of putting out a sort of buffet of game and letting people shop how they like. Somebody with less money can still play and somebody with a lot of money can be passionate about it. That solves a lot of these problems. You're going to see on that game, the used gamer isn't locked out of anything; he unlocks everything and the store. That's the future, that sort of a buffet game.
All right Bilson, but I'm still kind of confused. Are you saying you didn't like that UFC Undisputed made used gamers pay for Online Camps and Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 made used gamers pay for online access? If so, what are you going to do about it? When will we see this model in other games beyond just the new MX vs. ATV?

I have it planned for another franchise as well. What's cool about it is it's good for retail and digital. It doesn't say we're going all digital and not selling our games at your stores anymore. People are used to and want to go to into a store and buy the box, than can actually buy it for $40 instead of $60 then they can shop online for more of it. I like it because it feels like it works for everyone and punishes no one. It's a very friendly model.

Since the next UFC and Smackdown games are not coming out in the near future, I have to assume "another franchise" is not one of those titles. However, if all goes well with MX vs. ATV, maybe we will see full-featured UFC and Smackdown titles at $40 this time next year.

Source - THQ's $40 Plan to Solve Used Games (IGN)

Member Comments
# 1 bears5122 @ 11/20/10 07:35 AM
Yeah, I'd love to see variable pricing in games. It does seem weird to me that every new game comes out at $60. And that goes both ways (not that I'd want to pay more). But wouldn't it make sense for a COD game that has heavy online involvement and thus server costs to be more than a game like Bioshock which doesn't? Shouldn't a sports game that doesn't have a license or is part of a sport where licenses are cheaper be sold for less?

Like this game for instance. I like it at $30-$40, but it's not worth $60. $60 is a commitment while you can take a flier on a game that could be mediocre at $30.

And the guy in your avatar needs to keep hitting 3's for my Bulls.
# 2 GetRichOrDieTryin @ 11/20/10 09:43 AM
Originally Posted by w1ck3d50xf4n
I am so sick of buying a $60 game, just to get it home and find out that I have to pay more money to have access to all of the features that should have been included with the game to begin with. NCAA Football 11 is a prime example. It's bad enough that if I buy the game used I have to pay again to play online but they also charge $9.99 for "extra" memory slots? Also with other add-ons, this makes online gaming unfair because the guys that spend the cash to upgrade their characters get the advantage. This requires no skill.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a cheapskate, I just want what I pay for. I think these companies know they can't raise the price of a game beyone $60 so now they leave out important features that should be included and charge us more for these "ungrades." They keep pushing the envelope to see how far they can make it stretch. Pretty soon we'll be buying games like NBA 2K11 minus the Jordan Mode but will have to pay $19.99 for it. Or how about just leaving out Association Mode all together? Why not just make every mode ala carte? I mean, where does it stop? Are we going to put up with buying an unfinished game for $60 and paying another $60 for add-ons? Isn't it bad enough that most games hit the shelves almost broken and we have to wait a month or two for a patch just to play the game?

The only way this nonsense stops is if we as gamers start getting smart and stop buying unfinished games and add-ons that should have been included with the game to begin with. What will it matter if they lower the price of these games to $40 yet leave out important features that we will have to spend more money on? We as gamers, have to be the most gulliable consumers out there. The only way to stop this is to take a stand but everyone has to be on the same page.
I know right, I don't want to spend $20 on FNR4 upgrades
# 3 stlstudios189 @ 11/24/10 05:24 PM
this could be a great idea as long as overall I'm not spending up to $80 getting the same game I could have had for $60. I for one like the idea. For example in NBA 2k11 I am not going to play my player, online, or Jordan challange. If I could get the core game with dynasty mode for $40 that would be awesome. Let the other things cost $7.95 each or something.
# 4 PantherBeast_OS @ 12/04/10 05:52 AM
Yea I remember years ago when games would be around 40$. Those days where great. Problem is when ever a new Gen Console comes out. The price of the game goes up 10 to 20$ a piece. Companies know people will pay what ever for the game to play it. Problem is if they raise the price of games when the next gen console come out and the games become 70$. Companies might start losing money all around. Best they keep the games at 60$ and below if they know what is good for them. Games should not even be 60$. 50$ maybe but 40$ would help companies out a lot more and get more business at that. But with most of these game companies it is a bout money and greed and that is it.

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