In trying to reinvent itself, THQ has tried some interesting things; unfortunately, many of these experiments haven't been successful. Take, for example, MX vs. ATV Alive
, the publisher's budget-priced take on the motocross mainstay. "We were trying to take some of our learnings from the free-to-play market and see if we could apply them to the console world," CEO Brian Farrell explained to investors on an earning's call today. "The idea was [...] to come out with a robust product at a $39.99 price point, build a larger install base more quickly, and then monetize that install base through rapid and large-number of DLC drops."
The only problem is ... the game didn't move enough units to, in turn, move enough DLC to make the experiment a success. "The key learning there was that it was not a successful experiment," Farrell admitted. "The $39.99 price point, while good – it gave us good acceleration of sales – just wasn't enough to drive the install base to where we wanted it to be. Obviously the correlary to that, is that on a lower install base, the amount of DLC sales are not what we anticipated."
Farrell blamed the "high fixed cost of goods in the current console market" for preventing the publisher from hitting a low enough price to drive meaningful DLC sales. The CEO concludes, calling the game a "noble experiment" that he thinks will have "a long shelf life at $39.99."