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

GamerBytes editor Ryan Langley examines June 2010's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes using data, for a look at how XBLA titles -- from Earthworm Jim to Snoopy Flying Ace -- are performi

Ryan Langley, Blogger

July 21, 2010

7 Min Read

[Sister siteGamerBytes editor Ryan Langley examines June 2010's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes, with charts and leaderboard data, for a look at how XBLA titles -- from Earthworm Jim to Snoopy Flying Ace -- are performing.] June has predominantly been the calm before the storm for Xbox Live Arcade -- a slow month of small releases, overshadowed by the announcement of Summer of Arcade titles. Overall, last year there were multiple releases a week and a lack of sales. But this year has been a little different for June -- big titles like Earthworm Jim HD, Puzzle Quest 2 and Snoopy: Flying Ace have far exceeded expectations for the month, and gamers worldwide have taken advantage of an enormous sale season for the platform. We'll check out the Leaderboards for new titles, as well as look at the Top 20 lists released by the Major Nelson blog to determine how well the Xbox Live Arcade has done for the month. Such A Groovy Guy There were eight new releases for the five weeks of June – down from the fifteen that June 2009 had, but that's perhaps for the best. Too many game releases cause titles to be removed from the new release list, and doing so gives them less chance to see more purchases. What these new XBLA releases had to face was an onslaught of discounts for previous released titles, which we’ll get to later. The first release was Smart Bomb's Snoopy: Flying Ace, a multiplayer flying game based on the popular Peanuts characters. It did very well, with over 25,000 Leaderboard players buying it in the first week -- getting a total of 66,134 for the month. That's fantastic for a game that’s focused on online multiplayer – the demo was also very good, with 30 minutes of online play coming with it. It will help the online community continue throughout the next few months. The next two releases were Earthworm Jim HD and Neo-Geo Battle Coliseum, a two-fer of classic HD remakes. Earthworm Jim added over 26,000 Leaderboard players in its first week, totaling 47,406 for the month, also a great start -- certainly helped by the popularity of Jim himself. SNK's Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, on the other hand, didn’t have the same luck. Only 9,225 people seem to be on the list at the moment; however this may be due to only being based on the story mode, and may require you to complete it. Either way, it has not appeared in the Top 20 lists since its first week, so it likely hasn’t done as well as expected. xblajunenewreleases.png The Week Of E3 In prior years, the week of E3 has been a horrible time for releases – the press is not around to talk the game, and the Major Nelson blog didn’t update with an announcement of its release. This is basically what happened for Space Ark. Only 1,066 people bought the game for Xbox Live Arcade in its first week, with only 1,732 people in the month -- quite unfortunate for the team at Strawdog Studios. Risky Business The third sets of releases were 3D Realms' Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project and EA's RISK: Factions. Duke Nukem 3D was a huge success on Xbox Live Arcade, with over 230,000 players on its Leaderboards, but a quick port of Manhattan Project, the 2002 2D side-scroller, was not as lucky. It has only added 8,341 new players since its release. RISK Factions on the other hand, has done very well – 38,834 players popped up in the first week with 63,532 players for the two weeks of June, making it one of the best sellers we’ve seen in months. Ancient Quest The final releases for June were Infinite Interactive's Puzzle Quest 2 and NinjaBee's Ancients Of Ooga. Puzzle Quest 2 added 20,781 new players in its first week, a good amount for a sequel and far better than Puzzle Chronicles or Galactrix fared. Ancients Of Ooga was not so lucky – 2,134 players were added in the first week, and it didn’t hit the Top 20. xblajune2010top20.png Weekly Top 20 There were 5 weeks in June. However, only four of those were privy to a Top 20 list by Major Nelson – the week of June 7th is unfortunately missing from the list, thanks to E3 the following week. DOOM II was the only release from May that continued into the Top 20 – but only for one week. It added 20,283 players in June for a total of 37,649 since its release. Toy Soldiers continues to be a big seller, with 30,000 new players in June – same with Trials HD, which received 91,000 new players thanks to the week of sales. Several games that we can’t follow via leaderboards, such as Magic: The Gathering, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Hasbro Family Game Night, are still in the Top 20 since their release last year. Microsoft’s Game Room appears to be getting around 10,000 sales of its internal Atari and Arcade titles according to this data, but this may not include games bought with Windows Live or those who buy a single play. xblajune2010dotw.png Deals Of The Week June was subject to a cacophony of deals for the Xbox Live Marketplace. We’ve only got 26 of the deals here, but there were 45 throughout the month. The ones here are those that we could follow with Leaderboards. Peggle got a nice boost from its sale alongside Duke Nukem 3D and Serious Sam HD, but the largest boost was for last year’s Summer of Arcade titles. Trials HD added another 54,000 players to its addicted fan base, alongside big boosts for Shadow Complex and Splosion Man. Sonic titles got a single day of price cuts during the week of the 21st, which causes a huge burst of sales for the games. Each one nearing 10,000 additions during that week. Smaller titles that did go on sale didn’t have as much luck. Poker Smash, Darwinia+ and Rocket Riot received more sales than they’ve seen in a while, but just enough to creep into the Top 20 for the week. xblajune2010dlc.png New DLC Arrives July was a DLC bonanza for the Xbox Live Arcade – Defense Grid received four long-awaited packs of levels, and Toy Soldiers got its new Kaiser's Battle map pack. The Defense Grid DLC did okay – but for 80MSP each and a player base of over 138,000, I would have expected more. The first DLC added 7,238 players with a good amount of that player base also picking up the rest -- could have been better, but still a good start. The Toy Soldiers DLC wasn’t all that spectacular either. With a player base of over 340,000, it seems odd that only 8,703 players may have played it. This data includes those who played through the first level on both easy and medium. Trials HD and Peggle Nights DLC continue to do well alongside their regular counterparts. Alongside the 91,100 players who bought Trials HD, 19,904 players also bought the DLC. With 25,830 new Peggle players, we had 8,216 others who bought Peggle Nights. A Look Ahead July is the biggest month for the Xbox Live Arcade – titles like Blacklight: Tango Down, Monkey Island 2, DeathSpank and the whole catalog of Summer of Arcade titles will begin to bloom this month – it’s the biggest money maker out there, and may end up doing better than some retail titles as well. We'll have to wait and see -- meanwhile, check our analysis of the past six months of Xbox Live Arcade coming up in the near future.

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