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In-Depth: Xbox Live Arcade Sales Analysis, August 2011

In-Depth: Xbox Live Arcade Sales Analysis, August 2011

September 14, 2011 | By Ryan Langley

[Gamasutra contributor Ryan Langley examines August 2011's Xbox Live Arcade debuts and continuing successes, with charts and Leaderboard data showing the performance of titles like Fruit Ninja Kinect and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.]

The month of August brings us to the end of the Xbox Live Arcade's biggest promotion, Summer Of Arcade, a season that's known to create high sales for those participating.

We've got Fruit Ninja Kinect, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and Toy Soldiers: Cold War from the promotion, and the addition of Street Fighter III, Hole In The Wall, and Crazy Machines: Elements.

Let's have a look at how these games have fared in the marketplace, their Leaderboard statistics, and their Metacritic ratings as we try to determine what went right or wrong for the latest games, older titles on sale, and downloadable content.

Twisted Shadows

The third release for Summer of Arcade was Fuelcell Games' Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, an action-adventure game with a unique art style. Unfortunately, it seems that it was the worst selling of the Summer titles, with only 27,226 players in the first week, and 48,389 players for the month.

It's not bad by XBLA standards but definitely lower than the majority of past Summer of Arcade titles. It also didn't beat From Dust's second week sales, according to the Major Nelson Top 20.

Kinecting Fruit

Fruit Ninja Kinect was the first Kinect based title for Xbox Live Arcade -- that requirement in itself is a fairly limited amount of Xbox owners. However, it has ended up being one of the best-selling XBLA titles for the month with 77,236 players in the first week and 148,507 players for the month, quite an achievement.

Compared to the rest of the lineup, it hasn't reviewed as well, mostly due to the $10 price tag compared to the original's $0.99 iPhone app. [Disclaimer: Ryan is a level designer at Fruit Ninja developer Halfbrick Studios.]

At Your Service

People might not have expected it, but Signal Studios' Toy Soldiers: Cold War appears to have sold better than any other Summer of Arcade title this year. The game added 115,448 players in the first week, for a total of 160,734 for the month.

That's more than Bastion, Shadow Planet and Fruit Ninja Kinect. It might have been beaten by From Dust, but due to its Leaderboard implementation, we're unable to check ourselves.

Funny thing is, it's actually sold a little less than the original game did as part of the 2010 Block Party. Back then, the first game added 116,150 players in the first week and 60,000 in the second, so even with the addition of Summer of Arcade promotion, the game still sold less than the first did.

All In All, It's Just Another Hole In The Wall

Once the Summer of Arcade was over, we returned to the land of too-many-games, with three titles coming out the same week: Street Fighter III, Crazy Machines: Elements, and Hole In The Wall.

The only game we could follow was Hole In The Wall, the second XBLA title using Kinect. It's reviewed quite poorly, though, and only 3,567 players were on the Leaderboards.

For Street Fighter III, we could at least see some of the online multiplayer Leaderboards -- in which there were around 13,000 players. However, the actual sales are likely a lot higher. Crazy Machines: Elements has no Leaderboards we could follow, but it has reviewed quite poorly.

xbladlcaug2011.pngThe Trials Of Pinball

No new tables or downloadable content this month -- sales for both Pinball FX 2 and Trials HD are slowly dropping down over time. Things might pick up again once the Ms. Splosion Man table is released in September.

xblaregaugust2011.pngEarlier In The Summer

Looking back at Bastion, the first title for Summer of Arcade this year, it has continued to sell well into August. Nearly 150,000 copies have sold over the past 6 weeks. It's ultimately slower than Toy Soldiers or Fruit Ninja, but it will most likely hit 200,000 copies by the end of the year.

From Dust has added 96,000 players into its Time Attack Leaderboards since its release, meaning the main game has probably sold a whole lot more than that, which is great to see for such an artistic title.

Trenched has been able to hit the 100,000 player milestone without the addition of the UK, so hopefully it'll see another boost in sales once it's released there under the name Iron Brigade. Ms. Splosion Man has also hit the 50,000 mark.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

September is upon us, and so are a lot of new games -- Bloodrayne Betrayal, Crimson Alliance, SkyDrift, Radiant Silvergun, and Burnout Crash! And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's also the beginning of a huge retail season, so we might not see big sellers. Hopefully these quality titles can rise up and do well despite these issues.

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