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In-Depth: Xbox Live Arcade sales analysis, January 2012

Examining the performance best (and worst) of the new releases on Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade digital platform for the month of January, 2011, with highlights including NFL Blitz and Choplifter HD.

Ryan Langley, Blogger

February 28, 2012

4 Min Read

[Gamasutra contributor Ryan Langley examines January 2012's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes, with charts and Leaderboard data showing the performance of titles like NFL Blitz, Amy and Quarrel] The retail space has been a bit quiet throughout the month, as most retail is during January, so it's up to the digital space to pick up the slack. Can these new titles take advantage of that? We've pieced together leaderboard statistics and Metacritic ratings from all new titles in January, allowing us to determine what went right or wrong for the newest games, older titles, and downloadable content. Blitz Chops The first game to get released in January was EA's take on NFL Blitz, previously a Midway classic. We unfortunately don't know how well the game has sold via Leaderboards statistics, but according to the data revealed by the Major Nelson blog, the game was the third best seller for the third week of being released, which more than likely means it's done quite well. It also received a Metacritic rating of 78, tied best for this month. The next week included two new releases - third-person action horror title Amy and a HD reboot of Choplifter. Amy was received incredibly poorly by critics, tying with NBA Unrivaled as the second worst rated Xbox 360 title of all time. Only the defunct XBLA game Yaris beats them both. The Leaderboards are not functional for this analysis, but in its second week of release it was 8th on the Xbox Live Arcade activity charts. Choplifter HD received middling reviews with a score of 63 on Metacritic, with critics citing its repetitive arcade nature as its downfall. The game has only seen 4,267 players on the Leaderboards as well. xblanewjan2012.png Haunted Girl In addition to Amy, two additional "scary" titles came out with Haunt, a Kinect-only adventure, and platformer Scary Girl. Unfortunately neither found much of a demographic, as neither saw many sales at all. Haunt was the only one to find a place on the Activity List, slotting in at 15th place on its opening week. Quarrelling With Water The final two releases for the month were Quarrel, a budget but brilliant word game, and Puddle, a physics based puzzler. Puddle didn't make much of a mark, getting very little exposure from it's publisher Konami and receiving middling reviews. Quarrel wasn't much of a sales giant either, but did better than any other game we could follow, and had a lot of positive praise too. xbladlcjan2012.png Pinballing No new DLC we could follow this month, but it appears that Pinball FX's sales might be waning a bit with new tables. Currently only 26,363 players have purchased the second Marvel table collection, compared to the original's 142,360 players. In perspective though, it sold more than any of the new games we followed this month. xblaregjan2012.png Deal Defense We followed just a couple of the deals available over the month, including Dungeon Defender, DeathSpank, and RISK Factions. Most games saw a pretty big improvement from what they're used too, including Defense Grid which finally made it to over 200,000 players. Other games we followed include Fruit Ninja Kinect, which continues to storm the charts and Sonic CD, which has slowly been falling but will likely hit a high plateau like all other Sonic games have. February Is Party Month Next month has a lot of big titles on it's way - alongside The Simpsons Arcade, Happy Action Theatre and Gotham City Imposters, we also have the Xbox Live House Party, featuring Warp, Alan Wake's American Nightmare and Nexuiz to cater for. Should be a big month for all involved! On Another Note... For the past few years we've been doing both Xbox Live Arcade analyses as well as ones for the PlayStation Network. Due to the lack of real data we've been able to grab from games on the service, we'll no longer be doing PSN analysis write ups. I'd like to thank those over at PSNStores.com for helping me gather stats in the past, for otherwise I'd almost have an empty list on more than one occasion! We will continue to do XBLA analysis from here on out, and possibly mention any PSN stats whenever they're relevant to a multi-console title.

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