The mounting pressure on retail has been turned up another notch with news that THQ is planning up to six download-only titles within the next 12 months, some of which will be based on its highest-profile IPs.
The publisher's VP of core games Danny Bilson told Joystiq that THQ's plans for Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and PC are very aggressive”, adding: You're going to see some of our core brands built out in different kinds of gameplay to get people involved in the brands and drive awareness towards a launch.”
THQ's brands include the likes of Saints Row, WWE, Red Faction, Darksiders, UFC, de Blob, MX vs ATV, Metro 2033, Destroy All Humans, Warhammer 40,000 and a number of Disney licenses.
It currently has two studios dedicated purely to digital content – THQ Digital Studios Phoenix (once called Rainbow Studios) and THQ Digital Studios UK (formerly known as Juice Games).
However, in better news for retail Bilson added that a key role of its digital content will be driving awareness of its triple-A, retail-bound releases. He even went as far as to suggest that some of the digital releases might be free to download.