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Digital allows all titles to “get their place in the sun,” says Rubin

Saturday, 28th July 2012 17:31 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

THQ EVP Jason Rubin believes the industry will eventually move away from retail, as the digital space is more of a level playing field than boxed goods.

Speaking with Game Informer, Rubin said with digital, all titles “get their place in the sun,” equally.

“In general, how do you succeed with games that aren’t Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Assassin’s Creed? The way the industry has been set up with all titles selling for roughly the same price at retail next to each other, is that there’s been a race to make the biggest, baddest-ass game,” he said.

“If you walk into a store as a gamer and see a massive $120 million dollar game next to a $30 million dollar game, and a $80 million marketing budget backing that $120 million game up, it’s likely you’re going to pull that one off the shelf.

“As time progresses, the entire industry will move closer to what we see in the PC model emerging now, which is a lot of different-sized games and different types of games that all get a place in the sun because you can buy things that aren’t $60 boxed goods.

“I think it’s good for the industry and it’s good for gamers, too. I don’t think gamers realize how good opening up the rules so that game developers can distribute and price as they want and do whatever they want is, because at the end of the day, the gamer will determine what succeeds and fails because they’re the one with the dollars in the pocket.”

Rubin took over as EVP of Core Games at the end of May when it was announced Danny Bilson would be leaving the firm to pursue other interests.

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4 Comments

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  1. G1GAHURTZ

    I think his store example is wrong, but the idea behind what he’s saying seems spot on right now.

    People can browse every single product available in an online store and make their own decisions, based on gamer feedback. In a store, the game that you want might not even be stocked, because the management thinks that it’s taking up too much shelf space.

    Having said that, I think that there are still a whole load of people who probably never get past the second page of the ‘Most Popular’ category on online stores…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    I’ve been saying this for a while. If done well then it is one of the things which will help the next generation survive. The idea that all games should cost about the same price is archaic and ridiculous. Pricing structures need to be flexible without penalty.

    @G1GA
    The example is a bit extreme but the principle is about right. People see the cheaper product and assume it’s not as good as the more expensive product. If the marketing has been strong then the more expensive one is one you go in “wanting” anyway.

    This sort of model is an extension of the PSN/XBLA pricing up towards full priced products and has also been implemented in part on the Vita. It’s important to the next generation to have a full range of options open to developers and consumers alike. That way they can control budgets and not every title has to be a $100m+ megabuster.

    One of the bigger obstacles this has to overcome is the interface through which the games are sold. It needs to be easy for people to find what they want, easy for publishers to promote their stuff and easy for consumers to browse the available games in logical ways. This is something both services need to work on.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. NocturnalB

    I don’t know how i feel about all digital, there’s something about having my hard copy of a game that makes me feel like i actually own it and that i’m not just an HD crash away from losing it all.. then again with all these damn codes to “unlock” half the game you already payed for.. guess i’m already steadily losing freedom and control. There are a lot of variables in the industry that need to change.

    I agree all the little guys deserve their chance in the sun too though.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DrDamn

    HDD crash would just mean you download it again, you lose nothing game wise. In a lot of ways it’s more secure than a disc, you can lose or scratch a digital copy of a game.

    For me I do really like the convenience of your whole game library available to you without faffing finding/changing discs.

    #4 2 years ago