Future Xbox, PlayStation games could be free - THQ

But less content will be on-disc

THQ has claimed that the price of video games will drop in future - and could even go free-to-play - as publishers release less content on-disc.

According to THQ boss Brian Farrell, the future of console gaming is most likely see stripped-down titles bought at retail for $29 - $39.


Gamers will then have the option to download extra content to the tune of around $100 if they so wish.

THQ is experimenting with the hybrid model with its MX Vs ATV off-road racing title, due for release next year.

However, Farrell told investors this week that a free-to-play model - where gamers only pay for in-game items and extra content after a gratis initial sale - could end up dominating the industry.

"You might know we are the industry leader in off-road racing in gaming with our MXVs ATV brand," Farrell told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York. "In the past, we've seen that we bring the game out at $59.99 and it does reasonably well - around one million, or one million-and-a-half units.

"When we lower the price to a mass market price the thing really jumps... So what we're doing this time is we're coming out initially with a smaller game at a lower price point - the $29 to $39 range.

"We're then doing a download model for different modes, different tracks, different vehicles. It's what we call a hybrid - it's a bit of the microtransaction and DLC model.

"It does a couple of things: I'm a big believer in monetising under the curve, so we capture that $29 to $39 user no matter what, and a person that wants to spend $100 on the product can do so as well.

He added: "I think that's the future of gaming - whether it's this model or a take on the free-to-play model. It's where our industry is going and this is a very, very interesting experiment with one of our key brands."