When Xbox Live Arcade originally debuted, Microsoft told game developers that their games couldn't exceed 50 MB in size. Microsoft wanted the games to be easy and quick to download, and that the games be fast, simple, pick-up-and-play experiences.
But Microsoft this week confirmed that, after numerous previous size increases, the size limit has been raised once again, now to a full 2GB, or 40 times that original size. "We are always working closely with our partners to deliver innovative and high-quality Xbox Live Arcade games to our community," a Microsoft rep said in a statement.
"In order to continue fostering the creation of great titles on the platform, Microsoft has increased the file size limit of XBLA titles to 2 GB. We pride ourselves in being the premier destination for downloadable games, and the new file size limit allows developers to push their creative boundaries."
The confirmation follows a Tokyo Game Show report
from consumer site IGN, that said the 2GB size limit is final, reportedly a technical limitation of XBLA's file structure. Larger games are downloadable on Xbox Live's Games On Demand service, where users can download full-sized retail games like Mass Effect
and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The re-release of Konami's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
was the first game to break the 50MB mark in 2007. Larger games continued to push that limit upward, resulting in frequent reports of rising size limits for the service. The loosening of the size restrictions reflects Microsoft's growing acceptance of digital distribution.
Recent XBLA release Shadow Complex
weighs in at 835 MB, less than half of the limit, and another top-selling download, Trials HD
, is just 207 MB.