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THQ’s Farrell: $59.99 price point is “keeping people out” of gaming

Thursday, 11th November 2010 19:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Brian Farrell

THQ CEO Brian Farrell believes games need to be less expensive, otherwise, there’s a risk of losing new customers.

Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets conference in New York today, Farrell has said this a few times before, but today he told attendees he believes the average price point of $59.99 is “keeping people out”.

To counter the expense of games, THQ plans to try out a new pricing scheme starting with MX vs. ATV Alive, which the firm outlined during its financial call to investors earlier this month and announced back in September.

“What we’re thinking about the business is we’re turning it on its head a little bit,” said Farrell, per Gamasutra. “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. 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.

“We think this is the future of gaming. We think that’s the way games are gonna go in the long term.”

According to Farrell, revenue from digital sales doubled for THQ during its last fiscal year and the release of MX vs ATV Alive in 2011 could help digital revenue exceed projections even more.

THQ expects its digital sales to double next year, and continue to grow from there.

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12 Comments

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  1. theevilaires

    Ok usually I don’t do this but I’m going to voluntary be the industries pricing consultant for free for 1 whole year starting Jan 1st 2011. I guarantee double sales of all sequel titles and a 28% increase in sales for new IPs if I can dictate which titles should release for full or mid range prices.

    Lets see I’ll give you a few examples right now.

    GT5 $59.99
    KZ3 $49.99
    MADDEN 12 $29.99
    NFS:HP $39.99
    PSN PS1 Classics $4.99
    Average PSN title $6.99-$9.99
    XBOX LIVE $0.00

    There you go just a taste to show I know what I’m talking about. What gamer is gonna deny those prices eh :D exactly!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. caribbeanlegend

    you should try Canada, all EA Games are 69.99 and then you add tax then that equals $80+.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Virginityrocks

    Um. No they aren’t… Maybe you’re just going to a retailer who marks up each game ridiculously? Try wal-mart.

    But yes. I would not spend 60 dollars on something stupid like a video game. 45 dollars is the most I would ever spend on a fucking video game.

    Then again, I don’t play video games like I use to…. God damn I’m getting too old for this crap.

    Nevermind. Fuck it. I’m done with video gaming…. Until episode 3 comes out.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Quiiick

    AAA PS3/360 games should cost no more than €30/£25/$40.

    I stopped buying games at full price about 2 years ago.
    The positve effects of this is not only that I pay less all together but I buy almost twice as many titles then before.

    And my games-budget is thus spent more evenly among a greater number of publishers/developers, which I consider a good thing for the health of the industry as a whole.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. artursz1993

    AGREE! AT least there is anybody, who thinks about us and overpriced games :)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. reask

    In all fairness back in the PS2 Xbox days they were not any cheaper really taken inflation into account.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. LordCancer

    @6 actually in all fairness the price on everything goes up and everyone loses there jobs so fuck off u twit!

    @1 i bought splinter cell when kmart ran the 39.99 deal. so i like ur thinking on need for speed. at 60 they can hang themselves.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. frostquake

    This will be the 3rd year that I don’t get a raise and this will be my wife’s 2nd year that she doesn’t get a raise, yet everything has gone up.
    Electric Bill-Up
    Water Bill-Up
    Grocery Bill-Up by 3 times what we spent on the same last year!!!!
    Car Insurance-Up
    Gasoline-Up
    DirecTV Bill-UP
    Xbox Live Bill-UP
    Internet Bill-UP
    XBLA Titles-UP
    Tax Bills-UP
    House Payment Bill-DOWN, because now we owe more on the house then what it is worth!! And the Difference in what we were paying on the house and what we are paying now, doesn’t come anywhere near covering all the Bills that are up, and with no raises, we are slowly sinking!!!

    I don’t have a choice anymore, I have to buy games cheaper or we will have to file bankruptcy, though we might do it anyway next year..if we don’t get a raise next year and costs keep going up!!!

    What is crazy about 5 years ago, I wasn’t even thinking about money, raises and bonuses were great and I thought the gravy train would never end…well it did!!!!

    I made myself sad!!! :(

    #8 3 years ago
  9. frostquake

    OH and my Parents are retired and on Social Security, that they paid into all their lives. According to the US Gov’t Inflation is down for the third year in a row, So NO cost of living raise for the third year in a row, yet costs are up! There is something very wrong when Inflation is Down but Cost are not only up but so far up that consumers can’t even buy or live!

    You see when Inflation is down, then it is cheaper for producers, the problem is that producers are F’ing greedy…So why their costs are down to build and get us things, the people who run those companies are so F’ing greedy they are wanting more, more, MORE!!!

    Typically when Inflation is Down, Costs to consumers should be down, but instead in our F’d up Country, Inflation is Down, but Prices are now at an all time high!!!

    Building materials, those who produce those are at an all time low, but if your a consumer and need to buy those, they are now 3 times higher then they were 5 years ago, and at an all time high, I know this because my father who has built houses, is repairing his own and just added an addition to the house.

    The Pipeline that brings us goods, used to have just tiny holes in it so every one got a fair cut of the money pie, but now somewhere, someone has stuck a stick of dynamite in it, and someone is getting 90% of the pie, and the other 10% is now so overpriced your looking to be able to afford the crumbs!!!!

    #9 3 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    i totally see his point and agree with it. $60 isnt bad by itself as CoD has shown (hell activision raised the price to £45 over the standard £40 in the uk just cos the can and that sold gangbusters).

    What we need is tiered pricing OR a reduction in game dev budgets preferably both but especially the latter.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Kuwabara

    in australia its $99.95 to 110.95 for an average game, But i always get my games for $80-85, that is considered a bargain here!!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Crysis

    @11, i’m an aussie too, i find JB normally has the best price, EB is only decent with 6+ month old games, new ones almost always have full rrp & GAME is only good online or for preorders, BIG W occasionlly has a good price…

    #12 3 years ago