Talking at a keynote at the Digital Life exhibition in New York today, Peter Moore, corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing for Xbox has announced the precise 'launch window' line-up for the casual downloadable titles on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360.
Even more interestingly, Moore has confirmed forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade support, presumably largely in the form of retro remakes, re-issues and updates, by publishers including Midway Home Entertainment, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, Konami, Sega, Namco and Hudson Soft.
The full 'launch portfolio', all of which will debut between the Xbox 360 launch and Christmas, and are believed to sell for around $5 to $20 on the service, has now been specified. Particularly notable among the games are many casual PC hits from Bejeweled creator Popcap, a surprise appearance for classic Mac title Crystal Quest, created by Stainless Games founder and Carmageddon creator Patrick Buckland, and a number of leading PC indie conversions, including IGF winner Wik: Fable Of Souls, plus a number of classic Midway titles. It was also confirmed that the Alexey Pajitnov-designed Hexic HD will be free with all hard disc-enabled Xbox 360 systems.
The specific list of 'launch window' titles is as follows: Astropop - Popcap Games, Bankshot Billiards 2 – pixelStorm, Inc, Bejeweled 2 – Popcap Games, Crystal Quest – Stainless Games, Feeding Frenzy – Popcap Games, Gauntlet – Midway Home Entertainment, Geometry Wars 2 – Bizarre Creations, Hardwood Backgammon – Silver Creek Entertainment, Hardwood Hearts – Silver Creek Entertainment, Hardwood Spades – Silver Creek Entertainment, Hexic HD – Microsoft Game Studios, Hoopworld – Streamline Studios, Jewel Quest – iWin.com, Joust – Midway Home Entertainment, Marble Blast Ultra – GarageGames, Mutant Storm Reloaded – PomPom Games, Outpost Kaloki – Wahoo Studios, Robotron 2084 – Midway Home Entertainment, SmashTV – Midway Home Entertainment, Wik: Fable of Souls – Reflexive Entertainment, Zuma – Popcap Games.
Finally, Microsoft released a full, impressive list of companies which have officially agreed to support Xbox Live Arcade with adaptations, retro remakes, and new titles, including notable publishers and developers such as Capcom, Atari, Sega, Namco, Q Entertainment (for which speculation is mounting that titles such as Lumines, already licensed to mobile phones, could appear on Xbox Live Arcade), King Of Fighters and Metal Slug creator SNK Playmore, Frequency designer Harmonix, Jeff Minter's Llamasoft, Konami, Electronic Arts, and Hudson Soft.
The full line-up is as follows: Atari, Bizarre Creations, Capcom, Codemasters, CTXM, Digital Eclipse, Electronic Arts, Empire Interactive, Gaia Studios, GameHouse Studios, Garage Games, Gastronaut Studios, Hamster, Harmonix, HipSoft, Hudson Soft, iWin, Konami, Llamasoft, Load, Inc, Mad Doc Software, Majesco, Microsoft Game Studios, Midway Home Entertainment, Mumbo Jumbo (United Developers), Naked Sky Entertainment, Namco, Oberon Media, Pick Up And Play, pixelStorm, Inc, PlayFirst, PomPom Games, Popcap Games, Q Entertainment, RealNetworks, Inc, Reflexive Entertainment, Secret Lair Studios, Sega, Silver Creek Entertainment, SNK Playmore, Stainless Games, Streamline Studios, Tik Games, Ubisoft, uWink, Vivendi Universal Games, Wahoo Studios, Wanako Games, and Wild Tangent.
Moore commented of the announcement: "The next generation of Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360 will enhance the gaming experience for casual and competitive gamers alike, across the globe, providing something for everyone with world-class games and captivating content."