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Xbox Live Arcade sales analysis, June 2012

Gamasutra examines the debut titles -- as well as continuing sales -- of title's on Microsoft's digital Xbox Live Arcade platform, with highlights including Virtua Fighter 5 and the continued dominance of Minecraft.
Gamasutra contributor Ryan Langley examines June 2012's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes, with charts and Leaderboard data showing the performance of titles like Magic: The Gathering 2013, Sega Vintage Collections and Virtua Fighter 5. May was the end of the Arcade Next promotion, July is the beginning of the Summer of Arcade, so what ends up happening in June, the lull between two giant promotional opportunities? We plan to find out, having a look at Sega's big boost into the digital arena, three different racing games, and Minecraft's continued dominance in the marketplace. We've pieced together Leaderboard statistics and Metacritic ratings from every title released in June, which allows us to determine how new games have sold and how well they were reviewed. We also look at several older titles that continue to do well, as well as specific downloadable content for games that support it.

To be this good takes ages

In a weird twist this month, most of the titles available did not have leaderboards we could follow, but we've done our best to determine how well they've sold. The first week of June had 3 new releases, starting with the third and fourth edition of SEGA's new Vintage Collection line, collecting Streets or Rage and Golden Axe titles into tidy packages. Both fared well on Metacritic. xblanewjune2012.pngBoth games had Leaderboards that were limited to special challenges, so we couldn't follow them. However we do know that for its second week of release Streets of Rage was 15th on the overall XBLA list. Also released this week was Mad Riders, a new racing title from Techland. We don't know exactly how it did, but given that it didn't crack the top 20 in its debut week, it doesn't seem to have performed well..

Virtua racing

Week two for the month added two more titles - Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown and Bang Bang Racing. Virtua Fighter 5 we couldn't follow, as the leaderboards were based on online games only, but for its first week of sales it was fourth in the Top 20 - behind the juggernauts of Minecraft, Trials Evolution and The Walking Dead. It also fared well in reviews, being equal with the Streets of Rage collection for best reviewed game of the month. Bang Bang Racing, from Digital Reality, didn't fare as well, with a Metacritic of 61. It added only 1,476 players in the first week and 3,875 players for the month. Week 3 only had one new title, Babel Rising, but we were unable to follow it. It ended up being the worst reviewed title for the month.

A magical gathering

The third iteration of Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers was the seventh title out this month, and of those new titles it was the best selling. Its first week it added 60,269 players - a really good amount, for a total of 81,283 players for the month. Last year's iteration added 83,625 players in its first week, so this new title has started a little worse than before, but it's not to say that 60,269 players is in any way bad. I do wonder how long they can keep this up, though.

Offroad adventures

The final two titles were Jeremy McGrath's Offroad and Mini Ninja Adventures. We were able to follow Jeremy McGrath, but it seems to have not sold very well, with only 2,184 players on the Leaderboards. Considering it was the third racing title for the month, and none of them appear to have sold well, it's not much of a surprise. Mini Ninja Adventures came out almost by surprise, and has only see one review pop up. In all likeliness it too has not sold well. xbladlcjune2012.png

Pinball enthusiasts, assemble!

Finally a new Pinball FX 2 pack of tables - the third Marvel-based back, featuring the likes of The Avengers, World War Hulk and The Infinity Gauntlet. It hasn't done tremendously well compared to the total Pinball FX 2 package, but considering it's probably sold better than most other new titles this month, I wouldn't complain too much. xblaregjune2012.png

Make mine craft

Minecraft is a beast of the industry. The game has continued to sell an amazing amount of copies on Xbox Live Arcade with an additional million players just for June, to almost over 3 million since it was released. This is absolutely staggering, and if the NPD results are anything to go by it was probably one of if not the best-selling title in America for the month including retail. For the second week of June it was also the second-most-played Xbox game of all -- retail or downloadable. Limbo, I Am Alive, Dungeon Defenders and Trials Evolution continue to sell well as expected. Fez also hit over 100,000 copies during this time. It's been slow compared to other indie darlings, but it's a lot of money for just a few people. A lot of games went on sale as well - Sonic CD and Sonic Adventure sold quite well for their week at half price, and Peggle and Trine 2 also sold well during their sale phase.

A July to remember

And onward to July, a month where we'll have the beginning of the Summer of Arcade with big hitters like Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD and Wreckateer, plus others like Zuma's Revenge, Spelunky and Quantum Conundrum. Should be a good month!

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