Used games 'probably' good for consumers - former THQ boss
Outgoing executive Danny Bilson says secondhand games are a good thing for users, but "probably not so good for publishers"; Saints Row 4 to have "broader appeal."
Used games are "probably" good for consumers, former THQ executive vice president of core games Danny Bilson told Eurogamer at a pre-E3 event recently. Bilson, who left the publisher just this week to "pursue other interests," explained that while secondhand games may be good for users, they are "probably not so good for publishers."
According to Bilson, the way to "respect" users is to design projects to be "more valuable," such that gamers have a reason to hold on to their copies. To achieve this, Bilson said THQ will release additional content for its games via postlaunch digital offerings.
"This is something I'm talking seriously about now with the studios," he said. "Extended content shouldn't be an afterthought. It shouldn't in any way feel to the consumer we took stuff out of the game to sell it to them later. We can't do that at all. But if we give them an IP or a game they love, we could give them more of it over time if they choose to buy it, and that will keep them from wanting to sell it back to move on to something else."
Elsewhere in the interview, Bilson spoke about Saints Row 4. He said the new game will add new characters and points of view, on its way to having a "broader appeal." Gamers may want to temper their excitement for the project, as THQ is about a year away from officially talking about it, Bilson said.
Lastly, Bilson sounded off on THQ's recent announcement that it was seeking publishing help for Tomonobu Itagaki's action game Devil's Third. He said he was "disappointed" by the "very difficult and personally painful" news, noting he's been "deeply involved" in the project.
"It's purely a function of where we are strategically in reorganizing the company to move forward," he said. "It's not about stopping a game that had problems, or a problem project. It's not. We just have a limited amount of slots we can fund, and for various reasons--business reasons predominantly, and not about sales forecasts or anything like that--it's really about what we can fund and what we can build in this window. It became a very, very difficult and painful decision to look for alternatives with Devil's Third."
Bilson said he isn't sure if THQ will publish Devil's Third, but noted that he "wants that game to be played" whether or not his company publishes it, because he thinks it's "fantastic." For more on Devil's Third, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.