Publisher will wait to watch the Natal market emerge before issuing a budget

THQ holds off $40m project for â??unprovenâ?? Natal

Publishing giant THQ has a Natal game in the pipeline that could cost as much as $40 million to make – yet the company is hedging its bets due to the unknown popularity of the device.

THQ VP of core games, Danny Bilson, said that Natal had lent the company numerous ideas for core games – yet there’s a reluctance to develop them as the market and tech remains uncharted.

"I have some concepts and some ideas that use Natal in a core game in a really, really cool way,” he told CVG.

"But to your other question I don’t think the experience with the technology is there, I don’t think the install base is there because the game I’m thinking about is a $30m/$40m Natal game and the install base isn’t there yet to support that.”

Bilson’s comments could raise the eyebrows of even the most enthusiastic Microsoft executive.

The platform holder is backing Natal with a significant chunk of money, and indeed its own reputation, yet a hefty question mark still hangs over the peripheral’s catalogue of software, and indeed what market Natal will sit in.

Said Bilson, "There’s core potential there but on the creative side I’m absolutely focused on core… so an idea I have for that, aside for the one that we have, is a big core game.

"I think we have to wait a little bit just for the install base to justify spending a ton of money. Because my idea is a really expensive idea."

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