THQ's Brian Farrell.
THQ’s Brian Farrell.

SEPT. 23, 2010 • THQ chief executive explained on an investor conference call how the publisher will be testing an adapted F2P model with its retail titles. The concept is to release stripped down versions of selected titles for between $29 and $39, and providing consumers the option of purchasing up to $100 in addition DLC. The model will be tested next year with THQ’s MX vs ATV off-road racing game.

Impact: Many forces have been working against traditional retail sales in the broader video game market for some time now, including what are perceived as high price points in a tough economy as well as the growth of F2P, Facebook and iPhone/iPad gaming.  Among other factors, the high quality UFC 2010 failed to meet sales expectations a year after UFC 2009 became a huge retail success.  As a result, THQ was forced to quickly drop the price of UFC 2010 to boost sell-thru.  Given the competitive threat of F2P models on the traditional retail business, we feel that THQ’s announcement is a sign that a hybrid model for retail may indeed be viable in the future.  We will be watching how this develops closely.