Sales Archive

4

Minecraft reaches 3 million served

This morning Markus “Notch” Persson, the man behind the wildly successful Minecraft, tweeted that Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition surpassed over 3 million units sold. Everyone knew this game was going to take off, but who knew that it would totally obliterate any other sales record? To put it into perspective, no other Xbox Live Arcade game has hit 3 million units sold since the release of the Xbox 360, and some have had years to do so. Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition has had a little over two months. The closest competitor is Castle Crashers, which according to Gamasutra’s analysis is slowly inching toward 2.9 million, but it’s had almost four years working to that number. Apparently people love their square-shaped gameplay.

Source: @notch via @PlayXBLA

2

Xbox 360 is top-selling console for 18th consecutive month

Microsoft announced today that revenue for the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter ending June 30 reached $18.6 billion. That figure, which Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Steve Ballmer identified as a “record” for the company, reflected a 20 percent ($292 million) quarterly gain for the Redmond, Washington firm’s Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD). The division also enjoyed an eight percent gain over the course of the entire fiscal year. Microsoft was unable to turn a quarterly profit despite those figures, posting an operating loss of $492 million.

It was primarily Skype, added to the console holder’s product portfolio through an $8.5 million purchase in May of 2011, that accounted for the sales increase for the division that oversees all things Xbox, according to Microsoft. Another contributing factor was the Xbox 360 console holding on to its position as the best-selling game console in the United States during the quarter. The Xbox 360 has now been number one in the U.S. for 18 months running.

Despite its dominant position, the Xbox paralleled the rest of the domestic video game console market’s recent woes, selling hundreds of thousands of units less than it did during the same period in 2011. Consumers purchased 1.1 million Xbox 360 consoles throughout the quarter, down from the 1.7 million that were rang up in the fiscal fourth quarter of the previous year. Not all of the EDD’s figures were losses when compared to 2011, though. Xbox Live had another strong year, with its membership increasing by 15 percent during the period.

Source: Microsoft via Joystiq

1

Sales & Specials: zombie-themed savings

If you’re lucky enough to have the Sales & Specials app available in your region, then you might want to check it out once every few days. Within that app is a simple Scratch & Match style game where you can win some cool free content but as long as you play the game (win or lose) you will be prompted to save some money on various pieces of content that appear to change about once per week. This week is offering a zombie-themed special and two XBLA games are included in the sale. You can pick up Zombie Apocalypse or All Zombies Must Die! both reduced by 240MSP. Be sure to pick them up through this app though as it is the only way to access these sale prices.

Zombie Apocalypse – Was 800 MSP – Is now 560 MSP – Download the trial

All Zombies Must Die! – Was 800 MSP – Is now 560 MSP – Download the trial 

Be sure to check out our review for All Zombies Must Die! and our review of Zombie Apocalypse if you aren’t sure if these are the right games for you. To access the Sales & Specials app, locate the “Sales & Specials” ad on your dashboard that is usually located in the games hub. This week the ad has a picture of Scott Pilgrim on it. Click on that ad and if you see the offer that is pictured above to download the Sales & Specials app, then you are good to go :)

11

XBLA Passes the 500 Game Milestone

During all the hoopla of E3, Xbox Live Arcade snuck silently past a rather large milestone as noticed by friend of the site, @Lifelower. Our own XBLA historian, Andrew Crews, confirmed the feat. The above image details all 500 titles, but actually has one slight mistake: it includes 1 vs 100 instead of an actual XBLA title. Can you figure out which?

So congrats to Bang Bang Racing and Virtua Fighter 5 for pushing the platform over the hump. Now if only Microsoft can figure out a way to sell the above image as a poster. We’d all buy a copy! Congratulations to the entire XBLA team and all the developers and publishers — past and present—who have helped shape this platform into what it is today.

Click here for the high-resolution image

2

The Walking Dead shambles its way to a million copies sold

The Walking Dead

The first episode of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead has officially sold a million copies in its first few weeks on the market, reports Joystiq. The figure takes into account both buyers who downloaded the first episode individually and those who bought a “Season Pass” for all five episodes, the report says.

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10

Editorial: Are gamers shopaholics, too?

It frightens me to think how much money I’ve spent over the years on video games. True, I may not be walking down Rodeo Drive with 20 handbags full of dresses, jewelry and shoes, but I really wonder how many of us could give the traditional shopaholic a run for her money when it comes to the amount of money we’ve dropped on games, guides, consoles, and the like. Considering consoles range from the 2-500 USD when they’re released and games have always been in the 50-60 USD range. Game guides are roughly half that price, as are controllers. Other game peripherals can be as much as twice the cost of a game.

Yikes.

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0

Robbie Bach partially credits Sony mistakes for Xbox’s success

When the Xbox 360 launched in November of 2005, the console wars were largely viewed as a two-horse race. Nintendo’s Wii was an afterthought in the minds of most industry analysts and executives — a belief that would be proven correct in terms of relevance among the traditional gamer audience, but so very wrong on the sales front, as it marched on to over 95 million units sold worldwide as of March. Rather, both popular and informed opinion said the battle would be fought between Sony and Microsoft.

Sony had spent the past 10 years decimating Nintendo and Sega’s positions as dominant forces in the industry by appealing to an older consumer and making the PlayStation 2 the best-selling home console of all time with more than 150 million consoles sold as of the end of last year. After having replaced the name “Nintendo” with “PlayStation” as a synonym for video games, the Tokyo, Japan-based electronics empire was feeling as invincible as Superman. With Nintendo having done its damnedest to torpedo its relationships with third-party developers and the software behemoth in Washington looking like the proverbial babe in the woods when it came the console biz, Sony could see no kryptonite in sight. Of course, few outsiders did either at the time.

Had it not allowed the pride that success brought to convince it that sinking so much of its PS and PS2 profits into the foolhardy enterprise of out-muscling the Xbox 360 with the PlayStation 3, however, it might have foreseen that it was on a path to learn the same hard and humbling lesson it had itself taught Nintendo. Instead, it produced an expensively priced machine that arrived a year late to the party and quickly built a reputation, fair or not, of being notoriously difficult to develop for. Geekwire reports that when he spoke to the Northwest Entrepreneur Network last week, Robbie Bach, former president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, highlighted how Sony’s miscalculations and mismanaged generational shift opened the door for the 360 to become the hugely profitable success that it is today.

“When you’re doing a startup, you need friends. It’s just the way life works,” Bach said. “It turned out we were able to convince retailers and publishers like Activision, Electronic Arts and others, that it was a good thing for Microsoft to be successful, because if we were not successful, the only game in town was Sony. Being dependent on somebody else was bad for them, and so they supported us disproportionately to what they should have, mathematically.”

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5

Stacking, Costume Quest and others have prices slashed

Five Xbox Live Arcade titles, including two from Double Fine, have had their prices temporarily cut. Costume Quest, Stacking, Voltron, Warhammer 40K: Kill Team and Apples to Apples have all seen price reductions of 50% as part of the THQ Publisher Sale. The deal applies to both Gold and Silver account members. In addition, all downloadable content for Stacking, Costume Quest and Apples to Apples has been reduced to half price. But are the games any good?

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0

Xbox 360 was U.S.’s top-selling console in January

The Xbox 360 outsold the competition in the U.S. last month and held down its position as the most popular console, reports Microsoft on its official blog. More than 270,000 units were sold in January, making the 360 the best-selling console 13 months running. Over on the software front, a handful of titles on the console made the top ten list: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, NBA 2K12 and Just Dance 3.

In monetary terms, the software giant hauled in $301 million between hardware, software and accessory revenues. Microsoft also took the opportunity to again remind everyone that its platform was number one in 2011 — a fact that should be obvious given that it has now outsold the PS3 and Wii for a year and one month.

Source: Official Microsoft Blog

2

XBLA Fans: XBLA in review 2011

At XBLA Fans, there is no question that we love Xbox Live Arcade. We seek to provide our readers with the best possible source for XBLA content. If you aren’t familiar with XBLA please check out this post. While other websites do an excellent job with sales estimates, we sought to take another look at 2011, seeking trends and other information we thought our fans might be interested in:

  • Are XBLA prices actually increasing? We asked our own Ross Adams to investigate. You can find his results here.
  • Is Summer of Arcade worth the hype?  XBLA Fans Editor-in-Chief John Laster looks into past Summer of Arcades to see how 2011’s promotion stacks up.
  • How willing are developers to take risks on new IPs? Does XBLA provide a strong platform for developers to take chances? Ross Adams breaks down last year’s releases.
  • How often do XBLA games go on sale? Are there any specific trends that dictate when a game goes on sale? Newcomer Craig Hart analyzes the numbers.
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