Outgoing THQ exec cited big budgets, digital strategy

By Steve Watts, May 31, 2012 4:45pm PDT

THQ "core games" VP Danny Bilson may have stepped down, but he went out still confident in his company's direction and success with recent restructuring efforts. Only a week before his departure from the company was announced, he boasted about the troubled publisher's budget for core games, and talked about the THQ's strategy in digital initiatives.

Bilson's last interview with GamesIndustry.biz shows no indication that he knew that changes were coming as he talked about future plans. Either he was caught unaware, or he has a great poker face.

"Unfortunately we've had to trim a few things out of it that were really good and that was just a matter of business," he said. "I have a giant budget. That's the thing, people saw 'oooh' and I'm like wait a minute, I can't give you the number but it's really a large number. I mean it's not as large as it was before, but it's a large number and we have a lot of people making games and getting paid every week, we're investing a lot in talent and what we do, we're just not doing as much of it. But we're doing plenty. And you don't need that much anymore, you just need to do a few things really well."

He emphasized that the initial package has to open the door to downloadable content, but he thinks DLC can come in a variety of sizes. Saints Row: The Third is setting an example for the company. "Saints Row was originally the '30 day, 60 day and 90 day DLC,' that was sort of the old school plan. And we said 'wait a minute, what if we open up a store? Give us 9 months of content, some free, some small things, some big pieces, let's open up this shop. And it's done really well for us. And that speaks to the game, and the fans, and their dedication to that game." He says this makes for a "great opportunity," but he's skeptical that it will ever surpass the revenue generated from game sales.

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