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Joe Danger 2 struggling to find audience on XBLA
 Joe Danger 2  struggling to find audience on XBLA
October 11, 2012 | By Eric Caoili, Ryan Langley

October 11, 2012 | By Eric Caoili, Ryan Langley

Though Hello Games' stunt racing game Joe Danger is popular on PlayStation Network, the indie series' latest edition is having a tough time gaining traction on Xbox Live Arcade despite its timed exclusivity there.

Joe Danger 2: The Movie was the second-best reviewed new title on XBLA last month (average Metacritic score of 81) and had the publisher backing of Microsoft, but leaderboards data for September 2012 provided to Gamasutra shows that the game sold around 6,000 units across three weeks last month.

That's even fewer units than the original Joe Danger sold on XBLA during its opening week last December, which was over 8,000 downloads -- and that enhanced port released a year and a half after the PSN edition. Joe Danger 2 was also believed to be an exclusive for XBLA until late September (three weeks after the XBLA release), when Hello Games announced a PSN version with extra content coming out in October.

For comparison, when the first Joe Danger game released on PSN in June 2010, it had more than 68,000 players after its first month on sale. It's worth noting, though, that Joe Danger faces more competition in the motorbike stunt game genre on XBLA from RedLynx's popular Trials franchise.

Looking at other highlights from September 2012's leaderboards data, Harmonix's multi-platform music game Rock Band Blitz sold over 116,000 copies on XBLA, most of that coming from its first week of availability, when it had no other new releases to compete with.

And Klei Entertainment's stealth-based action title Mark of the Ninja, the only September release with a higher Metacritic average (91) than Joe Danger 2, also performed well, moving over 50,000 copies in its first month. Its second-week sales actually exceeded its opening-week numbers.

As for previously released games, Mojang and 4J Studios' Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition continues to sell plenty of copies four months after its release, adding a little less than 100,000 players each week on average throughout September.

Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve's multi-platform August release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive also sold well, bringing in 106,000 new players last month. Gamasutra contributor Ryan Langley has made more charts and analysis for XBLA's September 2012 sales available here.

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Randy Greenback
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Joe Danger was a great game, but to be honest, I got all the Joe Danger thrills I wanted in 2-3 hours of playtime. I think it'd fare better moving to the mobile market.

Jack Lee
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Is 50k on XBLA good? Mark of the Ninja has had some of the best word of mouth in recent months, so I guess I expected it to move more units, but then again, I'm not particularly well versed in the expectations for XBLA/PSN games.

If it underperformed for them, the silver lining is that it should catalyze a prompt Steam release, where it will hopefully sell gangbusters. I know I'll be buying it upon release (as a non-360 owning heathen).

I agree with Randy's point, except that in my case I got all I needed out of Joe Danger 1. I only completed about 75% of that games, and while I enjoyed that time thoroughly, I feel no need to go back for more. I like Hello Games' style though, so I hope a wider release on PSN/perhaps Steam and mobile will garner some more impressive sales.

K Gadd
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Microsoft has been utterly failing to promote XBLA titles, exclusive or not, so I can't say this is a surprise. Disappointing, though - it's a solid game that at least deserves to sell better than junk like Fire Pro Wrestling.

Sven Uilhoorn
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I think the current dashboard may be part of the reason XBLA titles aren't fairing well..

The dashboard makes it even harder for games that arenīt on the frontpage to find an audience; it isnīt very user friendly when it comes to finding Arcade games, demoīs and such.

Even when I simply want to see what demoīs Iīve got (but haven't played yet) it requires me to go through all games alphabetically, instead of filtering for demo's. The catalog feature of the previous dashboard was way better in that regard.

Ujn Hunter
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How much did it release for? I personally won't buy any Digital Only games for more than $10. I also don't believe that games need sequels in 1 or 2 year cycles. The fact that it's going to another platform with more content also doesn't sell me on the game.