THQ attempted to do something different with MX vs. ATV: Alive. Rather than releasing all of the game’s content directly on the disc for the standard $60 that games cost these days, the publisher released the game at a reduced price of $39.99. The catch: not all of the content was readily available. Instead, gamers would have the option to download the rest of the in-game goods at a later date.
I was really skeptical about this new pricing model when I first heard about it, as were countless others, but THQ insisted that this was the proper direction to go in from a marketing standpoint. After all, with the free-to-play market using a similar approach and succeeding, it definitely seemed like a potentially profitable direction, or so THQ thought. The company recently commented on the outcome of this experiment, and it turns out it wasn’t as profitable as THQ may have hoped.
According to Gamasutra, THQ CEO Brian Farrell explained that the pricing of MX vs. ATV: Alive certainly provided good initial sales, but users didn’t exactly care to obtain the game’s DLC, nor did the installed user base necessarily increase. According to the THQ boss, the game was certainly a “noble experiement,” but it didn’t exactly provide the results the company was looking for. “Our takeaway there is it’s not a great model in the console market because with the high fixed cost of goods in the current console model, you can’t get the price point low enough to drive that installed base for the client out there to drive the DLC,” explained Farrell.
I really enjoyed MX vs. ATV: Alive. The game provided thrilling racing gameplay and excellent track design. That said, it did feel a bit light on in-game content. I never really cared to watch out for any downloadable add-on features, and from what THQ said, it appears I wasn’t the only one.