After exploiting DLC and bonus items for pre-orders to their full extent, game publishers are now looking at a new thing to hook gamers: bite-sized DLC releases set before a game hits retail. Similar to what Capcom is doing by releasing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero before the full game is released, THQ plans to do the same with their core properties such as Saints Row. The first THQ game to get the prequel based treatment is Red Faction: Armageddon.
With Red Faction: Armageddon set to release next March; Red Faction’s prequel is being given a release window of 3-4 months before Armageddon hits. Well that’s according to THQ’s VP of Publishing Danny Bilson, who seems rather keen on this new concept. On this new venture Bilson commented “It will have content you can download that is TV show-related, it will build up to the new game and also we can use it to drive pre-orders, too.” Bilson is of course referring to the announced Red Faction mini-series/TV show that is being produced with the SyFy channel.
It’ll be cool how this plays out but as of now I can’t help but feel it’s yet another marketing ploy. If publishers want to expand their games a bit with additional content that adds more to the franchise then that’s fine and dandy with me. But if publishers want to release bite-sized games that end up merely being a paid demo of sorts then I think some people may cry foul. I guess we’ll see how gamers will react to this new trend when Dead Rising 2: Case Zero hits XBL in August and the Red Faction prequel is released later this year for PSN/XBL.