Amazon discontinues sale of XBLA games

Online retailer no longer offering game codes for downloadable Xbox 360 titles; still selling instant Microsoft points.

by

Last year, online retailer Amazon started selling codes redeemable for Xbox Live Arcade games. The move gave the mail order retailer a foothold in the emerging downloadable game market, but it's one Amazon is relinquishing.

XBLA downloadable game codes are the gift that can no longer be given.

An announcement on Amazon's former Xbox Live section explains that the Web site has discontinued direct sales of all downloadable Xbox 360 games, but it gives no explanation as to why. Gamers who prefer to pick up Microsoft points through Amazon can still do so, as the site will sell codes redeemable for Microsoft points in denominations of 1,600 ($20) and 4,000 ($50).

The loss of the downloadable game codes means Amazon customers can no longer gift specific titles to friends. It also means an end to the site's sporadic deals. In a number of cases, Amazon sold Xbox Live game codes for less than the cost of buying the game through the standard Xbox Live Marketplace process.

Gamers who want to purchase downloadable game codes outside of their consoles will still have some options at hand. GameStop has been testing sales of direct-to-console games and downloadable content at its retail locations. However, the system has yet to find its way to the specialty retailer's online storefront.

Discussion

32 comments
cheeseman242424
cheeseman242424

@ Glade If stores that sell points are far away, its not useless

mattg90520
mattg90520

I'm just glad they're still selling online points as I buy most of mine through there

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Buying xbl points in amazon looks kinda useless.

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

For all of those blaming M$, I looked at the software available for DL and it's ALL older Live games. Most of the newer titles never made it to Amazon. I almost thought it would be a better alternative but the selection was abysmal (games that I already had).

CisqoRouter
CisqoRouter

It was probably a support issue. If someone bought a code from Amazon and it didn't work, that person would have to contact Amazon for support who would likely have to con-call in someone from Xbox Live support for assistance. If they didn't contact Amazon but instead Xbox Live support, the reverse would need to happen becuase Xbox Live would not have the sales reciept for the purchase. This would get costly and problematic quickly as well as costing both companies money, making the initial sale a net loss.

monson21502
monson21502

i didnt know they had them for sale. much easyer to just buy them on my system anyways.

BanditDee
BanditDee

@ColdfireTrilogy Thanks! I'll be checking out cheapassgamer from now on.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

I expect Microsoft are trying to make it so that they are the only way you can directly buy XBLA games.

thisranks
thisranks

It's a shame for 360 owners...i love the Amazon.com deals for PS3, and can only imagine how sweet they were for the 360. I have to side with those who believe this is instigated by MS, although i can't blame them for wanting to make the most from their products cost-wise. This gen might be good for gaming, but it's not good for cost in any way, shape, or form.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

So, we are all in agreement that Microsoft is behind this. Looking at the surprise of a lot of the people here that Amazon even sold these, I wonder if it was a performance issue, rather than Amazon doing the occasional sale. Yeah, and I'm the King of England...

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

Damn it! If I knew about this, I would have checked it out.

Evenios
Evenios

didn't even know they did this.. might have been a microsoft pressured thing..maybe they knew amazon was offering too good of deals hah. Amazon's the best though! they have a new service for most major new releases that when you preorder for only 6 bucks you can get release date delivery (normally overnight shipping costs like 30 bucks!) awsome deal! :-D

green_dominator
green_dominator

WOW, I must admit that I never use Amazon for much of anything just to check if a band has new music out or not. I don't do anything online that requires me to give out my real name or financial info. It's not just games, I refuse to buy anything from websites.....

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

Oooh, that's a pity. I've bought stuff from them before - its easy to get a code and gift from that, plus sometimes they'd have specials where you'd buy a game and they'd throw in something (like free music or a free video from their VOD service). If Microsoft wasn't having a sale and they were, then I'd buy from Amazon. Sort of how I shop from Steam, Impulse and Games For Windows - whoever gave the best deal when I was ready to buy got my money.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@BanditDee you should pay attention to cheapassgamer the website .... they've always posted the insane deals that Amazon would post on the XBLA games they offered. Kinda stinks its ending though : \

BanditDee
BanditDee

Wait...I also didn't know Amazon was selling XBLA games/codes. Wtf Amazon.

Flint247
Flint247

I didn't even know you could buy XBLA games on Amazon. o.o

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

"It also means an end to the site's sporadic deals. " This is why they no longer sell them. Microsoft pulled the plug. This is price fixing, Steve Jobs style. Pretty lame. Used this to buy a couple friends Castle Crashers a while back. Guess that's out of the question now.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

why would you have sales of xbla games on amazon when microsoft lets you buy em online from the xbox live arcade site? the only thing i think amazon is doing right is allowing the purchase of xbox live points and xbox live subscriptions? @blueflamebat, microsoft lets you purchase xbox live arcade games online. you buy em online, and it will send the download to your console to wait for you to download when you get home.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

So, if you want to use a credit card, you'll actually have to buy a game directly from XBLA rather than waiting for a code in the mail? And people are upset about this? Why doesn't MicroSoft instill a gift option like Nintendo?

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

Well my friends as long as there are fools willing to shell out the money, these outrageous prices will continue.. Modern Warfare 2 Maps anyone?

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

if you would've ACTUALLY read my post, i said i have bought 1200 point titles, its just that 90% of them are not worth that. Go look at the arcade lists of games at that price, not many are worth that. Any earthworm jim should've been 400 points given MS said before old ports of game were to be 400points. and sonic and knuckles came out september 09. so again, read my article. I have no problem paying 1200points if the game is worth that, its just most aren't and almost ALWAYS games are 800-1200 points.

JStroud88
JStroud88

@dRuggernaut That's not true, as has always been the case their Summer of Arcade titles are 1200 points, in most cases the titles that cost 1200 points are definitely worth that price tag. Just a few weeks ago Earthworm Jim was released at 800. All of the Sonic games are 400 except for Sonic and Knuckles which is 240. If you have a problem with the 1200 point games chances are its not the quality of the title, you're just being frugal.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Ditto to that.VERY poor job promoting this, I buy stuff on amazon like 3 times a month... WTF

kvan33
kvan33

I had no idea that Amazon even sold the codes. I would have definitely checked it out to see if I could get a game for cheaper than the Marketplace price. I think Amazon did a poor job promoting this.

blancobo
blancobo

Simple explanations could be: Amazon was not making enough business with this. Though such a profitable firm, they might not be getting the market share they expected at the time they wanted. Though more affordable perhaps at some times, there were still many customers getting their games via XBLA perhaps... Dont' think this shows any signifficant threads in the market nor does this represent anything other than a positive change for XBLA market users. It would still be interesting to see the reasoning from Amazon to this change of heart.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@whoever thumbed me down: You are defending a mega-corporations agenda, go become a PR rep. ;) How can you argue with the arcade game prices? 1/3 of the price of a full game, for 1/10 the content(not always I know, I HAVE bought a couple 1200 point games)

ZeroGravX
ZeroGravX

I would imagine the cause of this is because not many people bought their games this way. Why use a 3rd party website to buy a game only to go back to the 1st party to redeem the code for a game you could have just purchased right there? I for one always opted for buying points on Amazon (tax free is nice) then used the console or Xbox website to buy games or game addons.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@copman221: probably because microsoft has recently decided that EVERY SINGLE XBLA is 1200 points now. The past 5-6 releases have been, as have most of the others. Rarely is a XBLA 800 points now. Remember back in the good ol days of 400point games?~!?!?!? I EVEN remember them giving quite a few games away around launch time(ie 2am pst) for free. I have probably about 5 free games, the last one i got was one of the poker games, and that was back in like 2006-2007.. I love mes my xbox, but **** microsoft is making it hard to do so.

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

I wonder what brought this on...