"We're going to be building stuff on some of our core brands," Bilson said, noting the plan is to create downloadable titles within the same universe as THQ's major franchises in order to improve brand awareness. Surprisingly, Bilson's plans include "giving away" some of the upcoming downloadable games, although he did not specify how this idea would be executed.
Bilson's theory is that by getting players "involved" in its franchises via downloadable titles, THQ can help drive pre-orders and awareness for their big-budget (in relation) retail counterparts. While he would not specify which THQ franchises would get downloadable titles, we were told the plan is to roll out this strategy on "two or three" of THQ's biggest franchises (à la Square Enix's upcoming Lara Croft game from developer Crystal Dynamics).
But the plan doesn't end there: Similar to the approach taken by Microsoft's Fable II: Pub Games experiment, downloadable releases based on THQ's major brands will unlock content within the retail releases, teasing players with potential advantages to purchasing related retail titles; retail games will also unlock content in downloadable titles, to help drive players to explore more content within that franchise's universe. "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."