THQ CEO Brian Farrell predicts a disc-free future for consoles which will revive developer fortunes as they move away from retail.
Speaking at his keynote presentation at Cloud Gaming USA, in San Jose, Farrell said all-digital consoles “will result in a lower cost for the hardware manufacturer, which will result in a lower cost to consumers and therefore a lower entry point, thus driving more mass market adoption.”
No physical costs means that “all the money spent by the consumer would go to the developer or publisher”, he added, as quoted by GamesIndustry.biz
Farrell (pictured) believes that cloud gaming will also improve the relationship with customers too, where THQ’s games “are always on and our players are always connected… We have the opportunity to interact with players in new ways that can be reactive to their desires, play habits, and buying habits."
The THQ boss said that as consoles change, so will price models. "We're starting to see a world where players can pay different amounts based on preferences with casual players paying a small amount, and more hardcore or passionate players investing more into their experience."
But the publishing giant’s own experiences in new business models have been mixed.
MX vs ATV Alive sold at about $20 less than its $59.99 RRP, but Farrell said the engagement was weak.
“Unlike free-to-play, $39.99 just wasn't a low enough price-point to drive a big enough install base to push the level of DLC we had initially hoped for," he said.
Farrell also warned that technology alone “will not give a clear benefit to the consumer”.
He said: “Cloud computing and data storage could potentially do a lot, but it's what we do with it as game designers and publishers that really matters most."