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THQ CEO talks up cloud gaming, plans 40 weeks of Saints Row 3 DLC


THQ CEO Brian Farrell spoke highly of cloud gaming yesterday, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen THQ's frequent OnLive deals, or to anyone who knew that he happened to be speaking at the Cloud Gaming USA conference.

Farrell predicted that a move to discless, all-digital game distribution "will result in a lower cost for the hardware manufacturer, which will result in a lower cost to consumers and therefore a lower entry point, thus driving more mass market adoption." It's something he sees not just PC-based services, but consoles doing as well -- though he didn't really specify "cloud" there vs. just downloading games.

And speaking of downloading content, Saints Row: The Third is going to have some -- a lot, actually. Farrell said that the game would be followed by roughly 40 weeks of DLC. "We totally change how we keep consumer engaged for a very long time," Farrell said. "We intend to create an online digital ecosystem that keeps them interested for a year or more." It's the same kind of approach THQ tried with MX vs. ATV Alive, except without the base game having reduced content to start -- or a reduced price.

"What we found was unlike free to play, $39.99 [the budget-level price of MX vs. ATV] just wasn't low enough to drive a big enough install base to push the level of DLC we had initially hoped for." It will be interesting to see if that kind of strategy works with a game that is more complete, and fully priced.

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