In-Depth: Xbox Live Arcade Sales Analysis, November 2010

GamerBytes editor Ryan Langley examines chart and leaderboard data for the eight new titles released on Xbox Live Arcade during the month of November, including Alien Breed 3, Guwange and Pac Man CE DX.
[GamerBytes editor Ryan Langley examines chart and leaderboard data for the eight new titles released on Xbox Live Arcade during the month of November including Alien Breed 3, Guwange and Pac Man CE DX.] November 2010 on Xbox Live Arcade was an interesting month -- 8 new releases like Alien Breed 3, Guwange and Pac Man CE DX, and tens of deals throughout the American "Black Friday" sales time. It's a month filled with risk, with small publishers trying to get their mark in the marketplace. We look at the Top 20 lists, Leaderboard statistics, and more to see how the market is doing against the retail space. Japan Comes To XBLA The beginning of November started with a clash of Japanese games – SNK Playmore's King of Fighters 2002, a classic fighting game, and Konami's Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, a battle card game that’s seen many anime shows based around it. King of Fighters 2002 seemed to not do very well, with only 5,913 players in the first week, and a total of 10,802 for the month. It is, however, better than the firm's Neo Geo Battle Colisseum did back in July. Yu-Gi-Oh fared better overall, and seemed to stabilize more over the month, with a total of 19,397 players on its Leaderboards. Based on the Top 20, Yu-Gi-Oh was still doing far better than most games throughout November:


Three Games Enter… On the 11th, three games were released – The Undergarden by Vitamin G Studios, Faery: Legends of Avalon by Spiders Studio, and CAVE's classic shooter Guwange. Guwange has lower statistics due to requiring players to choose the Leaderboard option, which isn’t possible with the standard “arcade” play. Of the three, it did the best that week according to the Top 20, in third place, but still wasn’t a smash hit. Both The Undergarden and Faery were barely acknowledged as existing prior to their release – no official Microsoft source claimed the games were coming out beforehand, and the duo had also barely been previewed by the press. Both games have arguably underperformed both saleswise and critically. However, also realize that this was the same week that Call of Duty: Black Ops was released to retail, which has always been a poor week for XBLA sales. Pac-Alien The final piece of the Alien Breed Trilogy was released in the week of November 15th, alongside the sequel to the critically acclaimed Pac-Man CE. While Alien Breed’s Leaderboards are misleading due to that they only update once a player completes the first act, which can take upwards of an hour, the Leaderboards for the third episode are only half that of the second game for its first week. I’m glad Team 17 finally got the trilogy out (the third game still needs to pop up on PSN), but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had hoped for more. The original Pac Man CE was a slow burn. While it currently has over 166,000 players on its Leaderboards it wasn’t a big success sales-wise straight away. Critically, it absolutely hit, but a lot of people seemed put off by its $10 price tag for “A Pac-Man Game”. That’s all over, and Pac-Man CE DX is a hit from the start with 26,344 new players in its first week, for a total of 42,708 for the month. It’s currently on track to beat the original game, which almost never happens on the digital download front. Have Some Fun With Crazy Taxi The final release was Crazy Taxi, the classic Sega title brought over to the Xbox Live Arcade. The game received 15,017 players in its first week, which isn’t all that bad considering it’s a similar amount to what Sonic Adventure had in its first week, and that title has sold close to 62,000 copies now. But there was another release this week… well, technically. This week allowed consumers to buy the upcoming Ilomilo title early via a secret page on, which spread across the web. During this week it sold 5,090 copies.
Deal Me Out November was home to a ridiculous amount of deals, 20 games went on sale at one point or another – Hasbro Family Game Night, Shank, Snoopy, RISK: Factions and Scott Pilgrim were all weekly deals, all which fared quite well in their respective weeks -- however, the rest were one day “Black Friday” deals. Most games had 50% off sales with the exception of a few – Portal: Still Alive and Trials HD dropped 66% to $5, while ‘Splosion Man, Turtles In Time: Re-Shelled and Greed Corp dropped all the way to 160 points – or $2 at 80% off. It’s no surprise then that ‘Splosion Man shot to the top of the charts with this move, selling 33,538 copies in the process.
The Not-So-Weekly Top 20 Only two of the four weeks were available to use via the Major Nelson blog, which is a bit of a shame. However, we can see how well things have been going, to some extent. Super Meat Boy continues to hang around, as does Limbo and Dead Rising 2: Case 0. Clearly, Deals Of The Week dominated the month.
Downloadable Content No new downloadable content for November on Xbox Live Arcade, at least not ones we could follow. Pinball FX 2 has continued to sell well since its release, showing a lot of new players buying the new pack, but also seemingly a lot of people checking out the other pieces of downloadable content – though those are mixed up with people who originally purchased it in Pinball FX 1. Outside of those, everything has slowed down quite considerably – though Trials HD’s DLC got a nice boost when the game was on sale. Looking into December December was a big month – World Of Keflings, Raskulls, Bomberman, Quake Arena and deal after deal after deal. It was surprisingly busy for a December week. We’ll have the statistics up as soon as we can make them available.

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