In a recent conference call with investors – the evil overlords of video game companies – THQ CEO Brian Farrell refused to give a subscriber guestimation for the highly-anticipated Warhammer 40K MMOG. A smart move given the PR gaffe that Mark Jacobs kicked off when Warhammer Online failed to meet his 500,000 estimation of success.
Farrell said “We don’t need the kind of subscriber levels that people throw around, like a million subscribers, to make a lot of money on this title.”
THQ believes that the low initial investment and a highly-talented team enables the company to make a solid game at a relatively low budget.
Farrell managed to stick his foot in his mouth in the following breath. “If we get anywhere near that level, we’ll be making a lot of money.” God forbid the support and on-going development costs eat that pile of money. Then he’ll look like a fool!
These types of statements are why I can’t stand reading about conference calls. I know he is trying to placate investors to make them feel like their money is being well spent. But CEOs come off sounding like greedy jerks. Activision’s Bobby Kotick for instance. It’s like a train wreck, I just can’t look away even though it pains me to see it.
Mr. Farrell, it’d be nice if you just gave us a break on the subscription fee. Ya know, because you didn’t invest a boatload of money up front. A pipe dream, I know.
THQ subsidiary Vigil Games is developing the upcoming MMOG.