THQ pushing for “digital ecosystems”

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 14 June 2011 04:08 GMT

THQ chief executive Brian Farrell has said the publisher remain optimistic about the industry’s future by ignoring declining markets and ramping up digital strategies.

“If you ever look at the industry, it’s big. … It’s changed, and you can’t just look at one part of the market and say that’s the market,” Farell told VentureBeat.

“So where we’ve place our investment all these years around the Xbox 360 and PS3 and the PC — that’s 70 percent of our revenue. Those are growth market issues this year and we think it’s always going to be really strong in those markets.

“When you look at NPD projections, given the fact that Wii and the DS are declining and the PSP is as well, the numbers don’t look good overall. But if you’re not in those declining markets, you don’t really care that much. We don’t pay that much attention to the declining markets.

“And then you look at the digital markets. They are growing. They are not really tracked. … We see growth on Xbox 360 and PS 3. We see it on the Facebook market and we see it in some of the digital ecosystems around the brands that we’ve launched. So we think those markets are going to be robust.”

Farrell said THQ has a four-prong digital strategy, with a core tenet of fostering these digital ecosystems for major console games.

“For example, for both Red Faction and Space Marines, we’ve got digital games on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network coming. That sets you up for the game and makes you familiar with the brand. There are certain things you are going to unlock in the major games,” he explained.

“… Then there is post-launch downloadable content. There are avatars that users can download. There are season passes.

“That opportunity can be 20 percent to 40 percent of the retail revenue, and it’s one of the things that companies talk a lot about. The industry hasn’t talked a lot about this. But a good game should get 20 percent to 40 percent of revenue from the digital side, for pre-launch and post-launch digital content sales.”

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