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Microsoft brings big releases to XBLA with Arcade Next, Minecraft

Microsoft has announced a new marketing campaign for Xbox Live Arcade releases starting next month, debuting high-profile titles like Trials Evolution and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.
Microsoft has announced a new marketing campaign for Xbox Live Arcade releases starting next month, debuting high-profile titles like Trials Evolution and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. While the service continues to put out a steady stream of new releases, it's seen few blockbusters in recent months -- XBLA's biggest titles have been Gotham City Impostors, The Simpsons, Alan Wake: American Nightmare, and Sonic CD. The company has relied on similar promotions in the past to generate interest for the Xbox Live Arcade platform and big releases on the service, running Summer of Arcade campaigns every year and its most recent House Party event in February. Its new "Arcade Next" promotion -- which features new Microsoft-published titles from mostly established franchises, all of which allow users to earn 400 Achievement points as part of a new initiative -- begins on April 18 with Ubisoft/RedLynx's Trials Evolution, a follow-up to the popular Trials HD that released during XBLA's Summer of Arcade campaign in 2009. That's followed by Climax Studios' (Silent Hill: Origins) new action game Bloodforge on April 25, and Lionhead Studios' Fable Heroes on May 2, the latter of which is a spin-off from the Microsoft developer's action RPG franchise Fable. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, a port of Mojang's beloved indie game, will end the promotion with its release on May 9. Developed by 4J Studios, the game adds a new crafting interface, a full tutorial mode, split-screen multiplayer, and more.

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