MX vs. ATV Alive experiment unsuccessful - THQ

CEO Brian Farrell tells analysts that a $40 racing game driven by downloadable content add-ons wasn't a great approach in current console market.

In May, THQ tried something new with the latest installment in the MX vs. ATV franchise, MX vs. ATV Alive. The publisher launched the game on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with a budget $40 price tag and a plan to make the title profitable with a year's worth of post-release downloadable content.

The MX vs. ATV Alive approach may be dead on arrival.

In a post-earnings conference call today, THQ CEO Brian Farrell told investors the experiment was a noble one but, ultimately, not a fruitful one. Farrell noted that the price point of the game did accelerate sales but not sufficiently enough to increase the user base to an acceptable level.

"The key learning is that it was not a successful experiment," Farrell said, adding, "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 low enough to drive that installed base out there to drive the DLC."

For more on MX vs. ATV Alive, check out GameSpot's review.

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54 comments
mxwonderboy121
mxwonderboy121

the game itself was ok, but the way they released their DLC was so dumb. people wanted more tracks to ride and race on, not thousands of goggles and other apparel. if they would have made more tracks and environments  it would have worked.  


theslimdavylp
theslimdavylp

The problem is that MX vs ATV sucks! Make a game more like Pure and it will succeed :)

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

If the game was that good, it would have worked. It may not have been a COD in terms of revenue, but it would have worked.

rob101
rob101

Wow it was not a good idea, no surprise here I had bought the game for years but when I heard of this plan there was no way I was going to pay 40 dollars for a bare bones game and then pay over and over until I had a complete game

le_mulot
le_mulot

WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!! The PSN went down for a whole month then they spent another month fixing their craps with the PS Store since they tried to reinvent the wheel with their crapy MotoDepot. Once up and running we got what? 3 track-packs and some MX but with some regional restrictions (i.e. no Honda nor Suzuki for Canadians folk). Add to this the said "Community Patch" that, in my opinion, ruins all the gameplay. Really, THQ need to get is head out of his own ass... ****

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

Anyway, why should you have to provide add-ons or dlc.... it's a motocross game! come on... plus its a sequel! those people just don't know anything about why peple play games!

valcrist09
valcrist09

Back in the PC Days DLC was called patches and it was free.. A lot of DLC is still free on PC that costs on console. DLC these days are just taken out content from the real game and added later at a premium that seems to be the new method these days.

dylan35
dylan35

DLC was cool until they started making tiny game and charged for everything , aroung 2006-7 they would give out free maps..... not anymore the more people were willing to spend money on points, the more the industry saw it as something to manipulate and make money off of its so sad !!!! INDUSTRY WE ARE FLOODED WITH TO MANY GAMES ,IF YOUR GAME IS NOT PERFECT PEOPLE WILL GO BACK TO 'COD' IN AN INSTANT and no will play your game till it drops to the $20. range peoples are broke these days ....

nickblah42
nickblah42

Couldn't have happened to a nicer business model. You don't say: selling a scaled back game at almost full price, and then trying to get people to pay, and pay, and pay some more, to eventually maybe get what they wanted in the first place? Glad to see someone in the industry acknowledging that the DLC-centric business model might not be going over as well as the publishers would like. Perhaps this will motivate some people to make good games, instead of figuring out how best to nickle and dime their customers.

ziproy
ziproy

Ok Gamespot this is a little annoying. First you post countless panels about how microtransactions is the way of the future. Now you're telling us that it isnt't??

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

They really should've made Red Faction the $40 game and used microtransactions to make up the difference. When there's so many $60 shooters like CoD, Gears, and Halo, that $40 price point is actually an advantage. MX vs ATV has such a niche audience to begin with.

scottenman2005
scottenman2005

Here is an idea... Make a GREAT moto game like the 1st 2 were years ago, then maybe a simple TRACK editor where people can share tracks, etc Maybe like Trials HD did?,, Have a contest, let people make amazing tracks, then bundle the best 15 maps in a map-pack you can sell as DLC, everybody wins..

volume_three
volume_three

@FSFA Seriously dude? You actually expect people to read thru that wall of text?

FSFA
FSFA

Lastly, I've been talking a lot haha, this model isn't something new to the gaming community...consider Rock Band/Guitar Hero games like Beatles, Green Day, AC/DC discs came out at about that $40 price because they knew no matter which disc you run, the game relies on DLC and they put content into the game week in and week out. If each week featured just one gear instead of 2-3, you could couple that with one track, people would be spending on that gear aside from the track and you'd have a much higher percentage of sales on gear alone. When people have choices of 2-3, regardless of cost, they typically will only choose the one that is the best of those three...again, I'm referring to the casual's who make up the majority of the market developer's aim towards...cause fans of the game will buy most of it anyways.

BikerPunk
BikerPunk

while i really do enjoy playing this game, it doesnt have the following of games like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield. Those games can pull in the DLC like a beast. DLC feels like a necessity, vs a luxury. Racing games i find DLC to be more of a luxury then a requirement. I like new gear, but i will only buy the helmet/threads i like, which will only get them 5-6 bucks max. It was a good effort, but unfortunately it didnt work for them. oh well, guess they are going to have to put all the gear/maps/equipment in the full game now. :)

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

Hopefully this serves as a bit of a warning to other publishers not to obsess so much over DLC. I'd much rather get a full game and my money's worth when I buy the damned thing than get nickel and dimed over the course of a year.

FSFA
FSFA

The game is great especially with friends...the leaderboards are the only thing people care about and race for hitting fast laps over winning...and those boards are glitched! It's very off-putting to spend hours perfecting lines to shave a second off your lap times to learn that your 1:23 time was beat by a 18 second lap!

FSFA
FSFA

Few people are going to buy all the bikes in each class for each manufacturer at $3 a piece...they are instead going to get the one's they want. With the 250's being so easy to use, few people buy 450's. When all your dlc consists of gear, helmets and goggles...few people are interested because it doesn't add anything to the life of the game by wearing new threads. This model had real potential because we all knew what reflex offered...lot's of tracks and multiple play modes and vehicle choices. To spend less on a title and buy lots of dlc, the dlc should be different. Took over 1 month to get two new tracks, then over 2 months to get 2 supercross tracks...no love for the free ride tracks and no love for any additional tracks...PLUS when you buy the sx tracks you can't race them publically online...just in private lobby's. Get the game cleaned up in those areas and this model would be stupendous! Release 1 track in something every week or bundle them into 2 tracks every other week and we'd be buying dlc like hotcakes...AND tell us about the new content before a few days notice to get us pumped for it and it's for sure buy. I bought the sx tracks a week after it launched...because I didn't know it existed until the next time I played with a friend and he said "did you get the sx tracks yet?"

FSFA
FSFA

This is what's wrong with developer's and marketing teams...they don't consider the quality of the game and content delivery to make these decisions. This message shows the community that they are no longer interested in the sales model when the inner structure was the culprit behind poor sales..and not the model itself. The slogan was to allow people to use the dlc to create the game that individual wants to have...instead the dlc is what keeps the game alive...maybe that's where they got the name! lol The game lost points to casuals and put many people off from buying because who wants to play two tracks for 4 hours just to get to the core content of the game...that's all been fixed now but video reviews and such aren't updated to reflect any of that. Anyone with minor interest is going to see that and decide to pick up a different game. If I were a part of THQ I'd get on the horn with the reviewers to at least get them to update their reviews...not the scores just the review itself. With all the content now working (for the most part) and more profound...the game is well worth the $40 and the additional dlc they are talking about isn't geared correctly to produce quality sales.You can't expect to sell tons of dlc when it's all the same stuff week in and week out! Coming off of Reflex, people expected the dlc to feature tracks and vehicles...not helmets and gear. I expected to see dlc that ADDED hours of new gameplay.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Just a bunch of schemes by companies to try and get more than $60.00 MSRP out of it's customers. Charge less now so they'll get hooked and pay more later... Just be straight with your customers. Why is that such a hard concept...

BlueRaptor7
BlueRaptor7

If the game was $40, it's kinda silly to think that they could really expect that much from DLC. Now, if they had charged $20-25 for it, then it would be much more reasonable. But you can't charge near full market price for a title and then expect people to flock for microtransactions en masse.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

If they'd really wanted to see if this idea would fly they would have had to risk it on a higher profile title; I don't see how they can learn much from doing it with a fairly niche product.

Cobra5
Cobra5

I want to say this is good news for the gamers- having to buy DLC to finish an incomplete game is hardly a "noble" approach- but they'll find some other way to rip us off, I'm sure.

Rocker6
Rocker6

Im glad it failed,at least it proves ppl dont want half a game,and then buy a ton of DLC for a complete experience.

BiThBhE0
BiThBhE0

Good for them. The game was a downgrade from Reflex. There wasn't even a career mode. You just had to race the same tracks over and over to level up. Lame.

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

Well I hope THQ learnt a lesson. Nobody wants to buy half a game and have to pay to download the rest of it as exclusive DLC or what not.

bat725
bat725

It doesn't matter how cheap it is if it sucks to begin with. I wonder what the budget was if they knew they were releasing it for $40? You get what you pay for.

Leefx
Leefx

LOL...I thought I would give the franchise a chance this time after 3 installments I thought they must have it polished by now....on reflection and in reaction to the article above, if you want good sales stop making crap games pmsl who would by DLC for something as crap as this!!......simple......

xbeanx3000
xbeanx3000

It's what has already been said, the game was a 'meh'. Meh's don't sell hundreds of thousands, mehs just flop. Zero marketing, average game, a PR man with zero common sense, no wonder...

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

they release a so-so game with absolutely no marketing and then are surprised it didnt sell.......

wars45
wars45

i could of told him that

jfn2
jfn2

you can't polish a turd....

silverdoe
silverdoe

it's not a good game in the first place!

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

Here's a tip, make a decent game and then you wouldn't have to experiment with markets. There is a large potential market for a MX game if it's done right, poorly rendered skimpy track girls and the obligatory hard rock soundtrack just doesn't cut it anymore, we want the MX equivalent of Forza, decent tracks and physics and get rid of the gimmicks, last time I rode a motorcross bike I didn't fall off landing on flat ground, I still have Motorcross madness on PC, how old is that game? and they haven't made a better one yet....sheesh

Bombardist
Bombardist

The only good MX game in the past 10 years has been MX Unleashed for the PS2 and it was amazing if it wasnt so outdated id probably pick it up and play it right now if they can give that kind of substance again then put it out on the market i might actually consider buying it and one other thing all racing games should have local splitscreen

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Personally I think it was a good idea! Cheaper game that if you enjoy it you can buy more content and if you don't you haven't wasted as much money. Most games eventually some DLC anyway so...... I agree that maybe it wasn't the right game to try it on. I have to confess that I got my copy on day one and it's still sitting sealed in my "backlog" pile :roll:

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

They should try to make a game worth the standard price instead of dumbing it down to sell cheaper.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

"not sufficiently enough to increase the user base" Duh, you have to actually MARKET for that. Next time, don't just arbitrarily release a game that only the current fanbase would even be aware of. Not to mention, this is the first I have even heard of the game being DLC oriented. God, statements from higher ups can be so disconnected and pointless that it makes my brain hurt.

Vari3ty
Vari3ty

Well good thing it failed. The last thing we need is skinned down games taking over the market, and then each game requiring us to spend $20 or more to get the full experience.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

Hey THQ don't advertise your next game with half-naked models talking about "hard" work, "long" hours and the best "riding" experience.

boarwar
boarwar

COD should be 40 dollars with a 4 hour single player and repetitive maps on multiplayer. OH that and theres already a...."lets make so much dlc ppl get annoyed" model.

benboz
benboz

It was a stupid idea in the first place. Glad I didn't buy it.

RadView
RadView

Who the @#$! would want to buy addons over time to one day finally feel they have a fully complete outdated game.....???? Guarantee that $40 price tag game came with so much holes, like swiss cheese, just to be filled with over priced mold in the following months.

ElusiveOne
ElusiveOne

They have to ask themselves if this was the right game to test it on. It looks like the game sold poorly from the start, but I don't think that was due to the low price or the promise of micro-transactions. They probably would have more success on a title with more potential...