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THQ tells Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to evolve

Publisher encourages platform holders to embrace new pricing models

THQ executive Brian Farell told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference yesterday that platform holders need to allow new pricing models to come to the fore, letting consumers pay a low initial price point in the hope of a bigger microtransaction investment.

Farrell was speaking about a new approach to boxed-product pricing which THQ is proselytising to consumers and platform holders alike. Beginning with the next instalment of the popular off-road racing series MX vs. ATV, THQ want to start selling smaller games for $29-$39 instead of $60, and then sell customers large amounts of DLC afterwards.

"What we really need, and we've been talking to them about it, is for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo - if they really want to stay at the cutting edge of the games industry - they need to adjust their business models to allow for these new consumer experiences. Consumers are going to demand it, in our view," CVG reports Farrell as saying.

"Again, we're platform agnostic: if someone else comes with some kind of a Cloud system or one of the other platforms takes off competitively that allows consumers to consume the way they want?

"That's going to be the winner at the end of the day, and that's where we're going to migrate our content. We'll make great franchises. If new platforms emerge, or the current winners adjust their business models - which we're pushing for really hard - we have to keep our flexibility."

Of particular focus to Farrell's comments was Microsoft, who do not allow publishers to choose an exact price point for DLC and virtual items, instead stipulating one of a certain number of bands. Allowing a company such as THQ complete control over that price point would give them far greater control over what it was offering.

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