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In-depth: Xbox Live Arcade sales analysis, March 2012

In-depth: Xbox Live Arcade sales analysis, March 2012 Exclusive

April 19, 2012 | By Ryan Langley

April 19, 2012 | By Ryan Langley
More: Console/PC, Exclusive, Business/Marketing

[Gamasutra contributor Ryan Langley examines March 2012's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes, with charts and Leaderboard data showing the performances of titles like I Am Alive, Sine Mora and Wrecked.]

For March this year we close another Xbox Live House Party promotion -- I Am Alive and Nexiuz being at the front of the pack for a chance of big sales. The question is, did they succeed?

Alongside that we've got games like Shoot Many Robots, South Park: Tenorman's Revenge and Sine Mora -- can these games also live alongside those that get the extra marketing push?

We've pieced together Leaderboard statistics and Metacritic ratings from all new titles in March, allowing us to determine what went right or wrong for the newest games, older titles, and downloadable content.

Next With Nexuiz

Nexuiz was the third game in the House Party promotion, and by all accounts appears to have sold the least. 7,179 players were added to the Leaderboards in the first week for a whole total of 12,027 players for the month. It was the third best seller for its first week according to the Major Nelson Top 20, and off the list by the end of the month.

After a huge response from other shooters like Gotham City Imposters, it's interesting to watch this game fall so hard, especially with the push of a promotion.

Certainly Alive

Now here we appear to have the winner for the Xbox Live Arcade promotion - Ubisoft's I Am Alive added 80,420 players in the first week, and 146,956 for the month. An excellent start and already one of the best sellers for the year, despite the low review scores.

It appears that the years of hype from the numerous versions in development finally paid off. The game continues to be one of the top sellers per week.

Defenders of Robots

After the smoke from the Block Party cleared, we began anew with two new titles - Shoot Many Robots from Demiurge Studios, and Defenders of Ardania from Most Wanted Entertainment.

Shoot Many Robots started off low at 9,623 players, for a total of 19,900 players for the month. We were unable to follow Defenders of Ardania due to its Leaderboard implementation, but we do know that on its second week of release it had fallen entirely off the Top 20 list.

Mora Rayman

The next two releases were Sine Mora, a side scrolling shooter developed by Digital Reality, and Ubisoft's HD-ifying of Rayman 3.

Sine Mora was the clear winner of the month in terms of reviews, with a rating of 84, a full 14 points higher than any other title. Unfortunately this doesn't translate into sales - only 5,292 players were added in the first week for a total of 8,177 players for the month. The game was 5th on the Top 20 for the first week.

Rayman 3 HD had no Leaderboards we could follow. But we do know that it was one spot higher than Sine Mora for its first two weeks of release.

A Double Dose Of Revenge

The final week for the month brought us another two releases - Wrecked on Wednesday, and in the start of a new trend, South Park: Tenorman's Revenge appeared Friday.

Neither title has seen very good reviews, with Wrecked at 58 and South Park at 51, but sales-wise South Park was a clear winner with 15,687 players, compared to the paltry 2,270 players of Wrecked.

Keep trucking, Pinball FX!

Pinball FX 2 continues to truck along smoothly with its DLC tables, continuing to be in the Top 5 each week for XBLA game sales. Well done to those guys - it'll be interesting to see next month where The Pinball Arcade andTrials Evolution will find their places on the Xbox Live Arcade storefront.

Return Of The Top 20 Lists

We haven't been able to do these for a while now, but thanks to four of the five weeks being documented on the Major Nelson website, we've been able to collect them all together.

Here we can see that Gotham City Imposters continued to be a big seller for Xbox Live Arcade, better than most of the games from the promotion itself. Good work Monolith.

Fruit Ninja Kinect continues to sell very well, as does Trials HD, Pinball FX 2 and Castle Crashers. We still see games like Sonic CD, Magic The Gathering 2012 and Doom pop In despite their age.

Best Of The Rest

The final list we have is of some of those titles that have been doing well over the past few months. Here we can see Gotham City Imposters is about to hit over 200,000 players, Full House Poker is about to hit half a million players, and Fruit Ninja Kinect [DISCLAIMER: Ryan currently works at Halfbrick Studios] continues to flourish as the top tier Kinect title on the platform.

Alan Wake's actual sales are likely double what is said here, based on claims from Microsoft PR, so it's likely hit over 100,000 players now.

Other titles in blue are games that were on sale during those weeks, and the few weeks afterwards. Ultimately a lot of these sales didn't do a whole lot for those titles, but it's good to have more players anyhow.

April Is Going To Be Huge

Skullgirls, Fez, Trials Evolution and Bloodforge - these are only a few of the titles coming to Xbox Live Arcade in April! It's like Summer of Arcade, but in Autumn. We should hopefully see some fantastic selling titles next month - let's just hope they can all live within the same ecosystem.

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