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Xbox Live Arcade topped $100m in 2009

By Matt Martin

Fri 05 Feb 2010 8:37am GMT / 3:37am EST / 12:37am PST

FADE estimates averaging selling price of XBLA games has grown; Battlefield 1943, Castle Crashers biggest by revenue

Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade generated $103.4 million (£65.9m) during 2009, a 34 per cent increase from the previous year, according to a report from Forecasting and Analysing Digital Entertainment (FADE).

The average price of a downloadable game for Xbox Live also rose significantly from $8.33 to $9.12, with the majority of the best-sellers commanding a price point around the $15 mark.

Promotions such as the Summer of Arcade push also helped sales, with estimates that Castle Crashers sold over one million copies during the entire year. EA and DICE's Battlefield 1943 is estimated to have sold over 800,000 units.

Electronic Arts announced in July the game had become the fastest-selling game on Xbox Live to date, and Microsoft has previously said that its Summer of Arcade promotion helped sales climb 200 per cent during July and August.

According to the report, the average spend for an Xbox Live Arcade user was $2.79 during 2009, down from last year. It suggested that motion control tech Project Natal could help grow XBLA in 2010, driving new types of Arcade games on the service.

In January Microsoft revealed that 39 million Xbox 360s have been sold globally, with over 20 million connected to the Xbox Live service.

FADE also released estimates of its top ten Xbox Live Arcade titles by revenue, which can be read below:

Estimated Top Titles by Revenue, 2009 (Average Price)

  • Battlefield 1943 (EA Dice) - $12.5 million ($15.00)
  • Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) - $7.3 million ($15.00)
  • Trials HD (RedLynx, LTD) - $7.1 million ($15.00)
  • Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment / Epic Games) - $6.1 million ($14.38)
  • Family Game Night (Hasbro) - $4.2 million ($9.53)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Capcom) - $4.2 million ($15.00)
  • Magic: The Gathering (Stainless Games) - $2.8 million ($10.00)
  • Worms 2 (Team 17) - $1.8 million ($10.00)
  • Peggle (PopCap Games) - $1.8 million ($8.86)
  • Turtles in Time: Reshelled (Ubisoft Singapore) - $1.7 million ($10.00)

From Recommendations by Taboola


Nick Ferguson Senior Producer, Microsoft

51 12 0.2
Good stuff!

If anyone has any feedback on the XBLA service, I'd love to read it below. We're always looking to improve the way we do things.

Posted:6 years ago


Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship

275 708 2.6
Accept debit card payment in the UK please :)

Posted:6 years ago


Tamas Daubner Marketing Manager and KAM @ CENEGA Hungary

5 0 0.0
It will be great to offer a more complete list of titles, not just the top 10. I'm curious on how this week's XBLA focus game, 'Splosion Man' did, for example, not to mention other games.

For Microsoft, it will be nice if more XBLA (and of course more full price) titles use the Awards system.

Posted:6 years ago


Otakar Schon Technology editor, Economia

40 9 0.2
change the meaningless MS point to local currencies like your competition does and please, acknowledge people who live in countries you officialy sell Xbox 360 as your customers - having to lie about our residence and using pre-paid cards instead of plastic is so sad...

Posted:6 years ago


Tom Keresztes Programmer

741 389 0.5
XBLA for the rest of the EU...

Posted:6 years ago

Its good to see that there is still a need for short form arcade style gaming despite the fact that we have no real arcade industry anymore.

Posted:6 years ago

Just so everyone knows, Fade LLC is somewhat stealthily created by a lot of the folks behind VGChartz, who are notorious - at least in my book - for stat fudging. However, I think their XBLA methodology is the best of their charts and they're not far off here. Just watch out for their other charts - their 'best selling iPhone games of all time' was shockingly wrong, in my opinion.

Posted:6 years ago


Kenneth Bruton Producer

39 8 0.2
Bring in some Dreamcast games!

Posted:6 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement Simon!

Just wanted to point out that Castle Crashers actually has sold about 1 million in total, but more than half of that was in 2008 (otherwise it'd be at the top of the list!).

Posted:6 years ago


Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online

157 112 0.7
Hey Nick, you've asked for it. ;)

Two things:

1. Change the point system to real Dollars - or at least the conversion rate, e.g. 100 points = 1 Dollar.

2. Create an option to transfer the location of a Live account in its settings. Mine is registered in the UK but I've been living in the US for a few years now - however, I still get only the UK news, downloads and all, not the US ones.


Posted:6 years ago

About that what Tom said...
The is no Xbox LIVE in Poland neither, so even polish MS employees have to register on fake addresses when they want to play on-line.
What’s interesting is that polish MS department set up an anty-piracy, social campaign at the beginning of this year stating "I don't mod my X360 = I don't steal" (60% piracy rate on X360 in our country). After a week or so polish gamers made a counter-campaign with a slogan "I don't sell games without multiplayer online for the full price = I don't steal". Now they had it changed for “”.

Posted:6 years ago


Jordi Rovira i Bonet Lead Engineer, Anticto

34 39 1.1
Make XBox Live work. It is a really bad implemented service. I have been unable to use it for a year since the New XBox Experience update (aparently it meant no experience at all). Until a rencent update last month or so. the fact that i moved countries long ago (UK->Korea) might be related but is no excuse.

The customer service by e-mail is also very bad, always pretending to be real humans when it is all based on templates. I got 3 or 4 times the same e-mail with just a name change. It insults the customers intelligence.

The fact that you make most money out of the masses and not the corner cases, is no excuse to not solve their problems. It is a matter of professional ethics.

Sorry for the ranting, but you asked for feedback.

Posted:6 years ago


Wolfgang Siebert Project Manager, Bigpoint

8 0 0.0
Hi Nick, thanks for the support offer.

I think you'd greatly help if MS would supply some official data regarding XBLA, so we're not required to play the guess game and rely on scatchy, more often than not wrong sales data. The only data I got from MS was such a statistical blur, that you could interpret it any way you'd want.

As long as we have no data to construct a business case, I will have to leave the gambling to those with deeper pockets.

Posted:6 years ago

Like a lot of the notes above...why the long delay in opening up xbox live to as many countries around the world as possible.

In South Africa, the xbox 360 was launched almost 2 years prior to the PS3 but in February 2010 (4 months before we prove to the world we can host a successful soccer world cup just like we did for the rugby and cricket world cups held year in prior years) we still do not have official xbox live recognition.

The ps3 launched locally in South Africa with a near simultaneous launch of the official PS3 network where gamers have dedicated local servers, pay in SA currency for DLC, causal games etc and laugh at the xbox 360 users who need to still 2 to 3 years after a local launch, lie about their place of stay to be able to play on live. In addition, we cant purchase MS points to buy any DLC, casual or indie games. I wont even go into the disappointment of not being able to be a global participant of something as cool as 1 vs 100.

Posted:6 years ago


Nick Ferguson Senior Producer, Microsoft

51 12 0.2
Let's give this thread a happy ending! Xbox LIVE is finally coming to Poland and South Africa (and many other countries) later this year.

[link url=

"According to a press release released after Microsoft's pre-E3 media conference yesterday, the service will now officially roll out in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia and South Africa this year."

Posted:5 years ago


Nick Ferguson Senior Producer, Microsoft

51 12 0.2
Some more details of the Xbox LIVE expansion announced, including the launch date in November:

[link url=

People who initially registered an account in a foreign country will be able to transfer their account to their native land.

Posted:5 years ago


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