Speaking with GameSpot
about his company's forthcoming releases
and business strategy, THQ CEO Brian Farrell suggested that reports of the game industry's death have been greatly exaggerated. Those "reports" -- perhaps better thought of as a general perception
shared by many investors, analysts, media outlets and informed consumers -- can be largely attributed to declining software sales over the past few years, as tracked by the NPD Group on a monthly basis
. "I'm a big fan of NPD and we're not declaring war on them," Farrell assured, "but what we've been trying to clarify is people are looking at just NPD now, right?"
While NPD is in the process of expanding the scope
of its reports (and also limiting
them), the group has traditionally tallied only U.S. sales of new (physical) software, in addition to those of hardware and accessories, painting an increasingly bleak picture of the industry as revenue continues to shift to other sectors. (NPD now intends to track sales data across a wide range of revenue streams, including digital
platforms and social
networks, not to mention used-game businesses
.) "I'm not being critical of [NPD], but it's just a lot of investors or people who look at the industry and see the NPD box product sales are down," Farrell lamented, before juxtaposing that perception with THQ's point of view: "more people are playing games than ever before."
"[We] as an industry need to come up with a different way to look at the industry to capture all those revenue streams," he continued. "So I think the industry is a lot healthier than just what NPD is reporting."
THQ will test that apparent vitality next spring with the release of MX vs. ATV Alive,
which will be budget-priced
at $40 and supported by a steady stream of DLC. "You know, hopefully tens of millions of dollars will come from just that single product."