This November retails Saints Row: The Third and it's a "really big bet" for THQ, especially in marketing. It's "tracking really well" in pre-orders in the UK and US.
"We’re absolutely a company in transition. We’re transitioning from what the company was, in terms of kids licensed games and a few interesting core games, to really the only place left in the world for console games: event entertainment," said Danny Bilson.
"Anything in the mid-range doesn’t seem to work, and the world is changing rapidly. It’s really come to that, and I think we all understand that here: to go forward, we have to create events, just like EA, Activision and Ubi do. There’s no place for a mid-range game."
Recently THQ dropped Red Faction and MX vs. ATV from their IP roster as both failed to perform as well as they'd liked. They expect great things from Saints Row still.
"We’re looking forward with a lot of excitement to Saints Row in November, and that’s a really big bet for us, I’d say our largest bet since Homefront in terms of how much we spent on marketing and how much we invested," explained Bilson.
"We have very high hopes for it. It’s tracking really well in terms of pre-orders and pre-sale in America, the UK and some of the other territories."
"We’ve got some months to go, and the team’s still finishing it, but it’s a very unique game, and it stands on its own against the competition; there’s really nothing else like it. It’s a big game which has a lot of value for the player."
THQ's two wrestling franchises have them pumped too: WWE and UFC.
"We have to really shift our strategy to less games and bigger investment on every level; on resource, time, talent, cash and marketing. That’s where you’re going to see us headed, on focusing and, of course, learning from our mistakes."
The core gamer is very careful these days, says Bilson, and you need to prove yourself when there's a heavy line-up of titles "that core gamers are excited about – but they’re all what I’d call triple-A events: anything in the middle we’re not talking about."
THQ's 'deck is full' for the next three years or so with third party studios getting published. "There is actually one more. There’s not just one, there’s one more project that we’re about to start pre-production on that we haven’t announced," teased Bilson.
"Again, we really only need one great, incredible event game per quarter. Aside from our commitments to the WWE and the UFC, we really only need one per quarter."
Check out thebetween Danny Bilson and VG247.