Amazon discontinues sale of XBLA games

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

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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.
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.

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