XBL revs spike 67 percent in August

Summer of Arcade slate, including Geometry Wars 2, Braid, Castle Crashers pushes sales for Microsoft's online platform to best month ever.


As it would turn out, releasing a string of high-quality titles in quick succession will do wonders for monthly sales figures. Microsoft said today that it broke its monthly sales revenue high for Xbox Live by 67 percent in August, thanks to its five-week "Summer of Arcade" promotion and the games that came with it. The service also saw a 58 percent spike in unique members purchasing downloadable content during the month.

Announced at the tail end of July, the Summer of Arcade promotion featured a 100,000-Microsoft point ($1,250) giveaway and coincided with the launch of a number anticipated titles. Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 led the month, scoring critical praise for its addition of cooperative and competitive modes to the 2005 original, with Jonathan Blow's Braid garnering effusive acclaim a week later for its puzzle design and striking art style.

Namco Bandai and Capcom followed with well-received remakes of their respective Galaga and Bionic Commando franchises, the latter of which sold 130,000 copies in its first week. The Behemoth's long-in-the-making beat-'em-up Castle Crashers rounded out the month, finding approbation for its keen sense of humor, art design, and multitude of gameplay modes.

"At E3, we committed to refocusing the Xbox Live Arcade business, vowing to release bigger and better games while focusing on quality and not quantity,” commented Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten in a statement. "The debut of the new strategy proved to be a huge success, with the Summer of Arcade making August the highest grossing month to date."

As for that commitment during this year's E3, Microsoft outlined a number of key titles coming to Xbox Live that it hopes will continue the momentum. Games yet to be released from that announcement included Valve's Portal: Still Alive, a game based on Comedy Central's South Park, a revamp of Rare's N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie, and a sequel to the 2006 unexpected hit, Uno Rush.

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Avatar image for darkride66

@ bestbuy319. Who was saying anything about RROD, or the service of either company? We were talking about XBL and MS games revenue, which is what this news is about.

Avatar image for bestbuy319

okay everybody 360s break who the heck doesn't know that but every time my xbox broke Microsoft sent me a box paid for shipping and fixed my xbox for free. when my ps2 broke after a year of having it Sony said oh well go by a new one. stuff breaks but if a company is going to take care of you like giving you a 3 year warranty why give them crap and keep on bring it up. oh yeah all you Sony fan boys at least we got more games to play then just metal gear solid.

Avatar image for darkride66

@ Yuck_too. While there's no denying the financial sector got themselves into a mess, or that tightened lending will act to constrict future growth, the companies making billions last year are still making billions this year. There aren't just going to disappear because a fraction of the population shouldn't have had mortgages and will default on them. Life goes on, wages are still increasing and bear markets don't last forever. Greenspan shouldn't have left rates so low for so long. I think the US financial system will come out stronger after this runs it's course and people will be held accountable, but I do not think this will take the entire economy down with it. There would have been some kind of warning if this were to happen, a recession, skyrocketing unemployment, low corporate earnings, runaway inflation or something. So far we see slow economic growth. Hardly the end of the world. During the last financial crisis over 300 US banking institutions went bankrupt. This time our analysts predicted 150.

Avatar image for Yuck_Too

...and I guess the markets tanking, banks going under, the government trying to once again buy their way out of debt, it's all just par for the course, nothing to see there, move along now it's all peaches and cream, take some tax dollars and go buy something. You must belong to the Edward Jones kind of investment banking side of life. Personally I hope it does all go down the drain sooner rather then later, and people are held accountable, world's 2 biggest problems at the moment are politicians and bankers. It will be interesting to see how things get "adjusted and realized" in the next couple of months. Because one thing is for sure...it won't get better, it's just getting delayed. So plan accordingly.

Avatar image for darkride66

@ Yuck_Too. Nicely done, and as you see I was 100% correct. Here we are 3 months later, with the US economy still showing growth (2.8% growth last quarter, I believe) unemployment still low and still no new rate cuts (and the Fed has all sorts of room to cut if they needed to). Oil has backed off from its summer highs and although the outlook is a little more tempered currently from the optimism at the economic data we were seeing in the early summer all this has done is muddy the waters as to when the interest rate cuts we've had over the last year will really start to firm up the economic outlook (probably first 2 quarters of 2009 now) and still the media throws around "Worst since The Great Depression...blah, blah, blah" their job is to sell papers and get people to watch. When things start to firm up they'll move on to some other impending disaster (maybe Y2K10 or some such thing) and won't ever be held accountable for the fear mongering of 2008, or the election time politicians pandering to this fear for votes.

Avatar image for Yuck_Too

Look if you want to say I've miss quoted you and play the indignant card fine...but lets be honest here, you change your tune to suit your point, and while it doesn't overly bother be that fanboi's like yourself try to play the "I'm for everything, honest" card, don't think I won't slam you when you call me out.

darkride66 Posted Jun 23, 2008 12:12 pm PT "The US economy is steadily improving and has been for months now, despite the the concern about inflation. The fed has eased off on the rate cuts and that's a good sign..it means they're working and they don't have to cut further. Unemployment is still at almost histroic lows (it hit 10% during the recession in the 80's. You're at something like 5.5% now, now even close to the same thing) and yeah, fuel costs are high. Oil is high and you're in the summer driving season, fuel prices always go higher in the summer. Despite the doom and gloom reports the media fixates on, those of us in the financial industry who's job it is to watch the economy have been given nothing but reason for optimism after the recession failed to materialize through the worst of it. Don't believe everything you read."
Avatar image for darkride66

@ Yuck_Too. Did you bother to even check out my link? I quote "as its Xbox division sees first-ever yearly profits - of $426 million, up from its nearly $2 billion total loss the year prior" The 4th quarter of their last fiscal year had the games division post a loss of about 188 million. Here's a link right to MS's financials. << LINK REMOVED >> This was as of June 30, 2008. Their next earnings statement is Oct 23rd. I have no idea where your $540 million figure came from, but I'd love to see a link to those numbers in contrast to the official MS report I've linked to. And I've never, ever said there was nothing wrong with the economy. I've always maintained that the US (and Canada) were going through a economic slowdown, not the same thing as a recession which everyone is always going on about. I'd appreciate that if you are going to slam everything I say that you at least make an effort to quote me correctly. I have an excellent track record and I stand by my statements, and I'm always willing to back things up, or back down when I'm incorrect.

Avatar image for LoserMike

So when are XNA games gonna be released?

Avatar image for Yuck_Too

darkride66 They post their quarters like everyone else...your $400 million number comes from their 4th quarter of last year. MSG have posted $540 Million in profits over the past 6-months so yes...I'll take their numbers over your thoughts. As for the "current economic state", have you not been shouting up and down the past 6-months that there is nothing wrong with the economy other then news reporters trying to scare an unwitting public... Sorry but based off the past couple years of following what you say...it's never turned out how you say...

Avatar image for darkride66

@ Yuck_too. I'm using the last fiscal year because that was the last official numbers, I'm not using projections because they don't always pan out. And my figure isn't for the quarter, it's for the last fiscal year and it's easily verifiable. As for your 1.2 billion number - Last year the total revenue generated by the games division was 1.5 billion and their earnings for the year were just over $400 million, so they spent 1.1 billion to make that 400 million. Beside the fact that MS has been missing their forecasted numbers all year, do you suddenly expect us to believe they're not spending as much this year and their earnings are going to suddenly shoot up? In this current economic environment? As for me being off topic, correct me if I'm wrong but I thought this was an article about XBL profits. And you're right and wrong. I don't think anyone should have to pay extra to play 100% of their games - but I do still buy 360 games, I just haven't so far this year. Fable 2 will be my first (already preordered both Fable and Gears).

Avatar image for werc96

darkride66: Lol. Its definetly uncomparable...Ive gotten the red ring of death. Its how i got my ps3...During the 2 weeks i didnt have the console i said....Screw it..Im gonna buy a ps3....I went to the ps store first thing after i got my console..It feels so...empty. Microsoft put as much as it could into the store...Sony's store feels gimmicky. Im not a fanboy of either console...But i do use both almost everyday..Sony gets maybe on psn game a week. 360 Got 3 arcade games last week alone, they update their movie section release date...Sony updates maybe a week later..MAYBE. Demos come out sometime 2-3 weeks after the 360 has had them up. You seriously get what you pay for...There is no comparison..Ps2 might have stomped on the xbox. But the 360 is dominating the ps3

Avatar image for darkride66

@ Sins-Of-Mosin. You can check out the financials on MS's own investor relations page. Fiscal 2008 showed a profit of 426 million (<< LINK REMOVED >>). I can't remember when MS announced 12 million Gold accounts (I think it was EA) but just a quick google search will bring up articles from Jan that peg the XBL Gold accounts at 10 million, so 12 million now isn't much of a stretch. And we know Gold accounts start at $50 a year, so 12 million x $50 = 600 million. I didn't think these numbers needed sources, but they're easily verifiable by anyone with the time to google them.

Avatar image for Yuck_Too

Dark... First off MSG is posting apx. $300 Million in profits per quarter...not per year. This year they forecast to make $1.2 Billion so even if you want to claim XBL is worth $600 Million of that they still have plenty left over. But really the fact of the matter is this...once again you post off topic ramblings about how you hate XBL for $50 and how you don't buy any 360 games...and you post it every chance you get in any topic possible.

Avatar image for Sins-of-Mosin

darkride66 - If you are going to say numbers then you best show your sources and please use paragraghs.

Avatar image for darkride66

Yuck_Too said "Dark that is some truly ludicrous nonsense you're spouting off today. 2008 was lacking for the 360?...and the only reason MGS is making money is because of XBL?...lol...your predictions and "analytical" skills are always good for a laugh if nothing else." I stick by what I said. My last blog entry says it all. I was a little surprised to realize I hadn't bought a single game for my 360 in over a year. I went back to look over what had been released and there wasn't a single exclusive for the 360 that I feel I missed out on so far this year (although, like I said, I am really looking forward to Gears 2 and Fable 2 later this year). That's just my own personal taste though. I know there were some JRPG's or some such thing the 360 received this year, but those aren't what I'm looking for. As for XBL subscriptions - I'll admit, these aren't exact numbers, but they give us a pretty good idea. MS games division posted a gain of about $400 million for last year, there are approx 12 million XBL gold subscribers and at $50 each so they bring in about $600 million in a year. Take that away and MS games division is in the hole again for $200 million. Not exact, but not too far out there of a theory. Feel free to pick it apart. I respect your opinion as one of the more reasonable and mature gamers on this site and even though I don't share your views on Sony I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on my little observation.

Avatar image for Yuck_Too

Dark that is some truly ludicrous nonsense you're spouting off today. 2008 was lacking for the 360?...and the only reason MGS is making money is because of XBL?...lol...your predictions and "analytical" skills are always good for a laugh if nothing else.

Avatar image for darkride66

ParisSun said "I see that darkride66 is still trying to make people believe he's giving unbaised commentary. This guy is clearly a Sony plant who tries to down play any MS achievement." Um, I've never hidden the fact that I prefer Sony, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy my 360 as well. It's possible to like both systems, I see nothing wrong with that. I just call it like I see it. Someone was talking about getting XBL for free and with XBL subscriptions the only thing keeping MS's games division in the black right now I don't think that free XBL is going to be in the cards anytime soon. I also think MS made a mistake in limiting the size of XBL downloads. For a company that thinks the future of videogames is digital distribution this is quite a shortsighted rule that I see they're finally lifting, but I don't know how much of a difference it will make. Personally, I've found the 360's online and off offering of games lacking so far in 2008. Still can't wait for Gears 2 and Fable 2 this year, though (an odd thing to be looking forward to, you know, being a Sony plant and all.) If you're interesting in where I'm coming from, just read my last blog entry.

Avatar image for ParisSun

I see that darkride66 is still trying to make people believe he's giving unbaised commentary. This guy is clearly a Sony plant who tries to down play any MS achievement.

Avatar image for TheKiwiMantis

I bought Doom a while back... and saw Duke Nukem 3D. I remember playing them back in the days. There were two other games I played after Doom and Duke. One was Shadow Warrior and another that I cant remember(It had 2 guys. One fat and a thin one. The fat one got obducted by aliens I think and you had to rescue him.) Anyway... I WISH XBLA would get Shadow Warrior at least. That was much much better than Duke Nukem IMO. -- TKM

Avatar image for Irve

i agree the latest releases for XBLA are a bit pricey ... Braid and castle crashers were both excellent but at 1200 just a little over priced.. 800 points and i would be sold. as for lists of content on PSN ... that's fine , we would expect there to be content up and running on sony's system..only a fanboy would think a rival system had nothing of worth to offer but it still doesn't take away from how great XBLA is at the moment. And XBLA has the worlds greatest game SWOS !!

Avatar image for P0T

XBL is not what is keeping them in the black. Its also software sales which if you did your research, you'd see they have a software attach rate that blows any other console out of the water.

Avatar image for console-deity

LOL at the Sony fanboys trying to down play the significance of these numbers, LOL.

Avatar image for Ikthog

It's a shame neither service is working up to its potential. XBL is almost entirely full of retro retreads, either reissues or remakes, and every game listed above falls into that category. Castle Crashers is the best of the bunch, but that too is a retro-style arcade game with updated graphics. PSN's downloadable offerings are vastly more original and interesting, but they're coming at a rate of a few a year, a trickle that doesn't make PSN a very compelling offering based on those titles alone. It's a shame that, with all the money behind these services, they can't come up with something better.

Avatar image for games100

OMG OMG OMG OMG, can't wait for Banjo-Kazooie! I loved that game so much...(tear rolling down my eye)

Avatar image for HolteEnder4Life

psn may be free, but you get what you pay for, live is a better service and will continue to be because they have more money to spend on improving it, because we pay for it, and its not very expencive. that said i dont have much trouble on psn, i just find it a little bit more laggy and unstable. flame away

Avatar image for hawaiiinsomniac

I downloaded Geometry wars 2... the new stuff is pretty pricey...

Avatar image for vass86

they charge too much for the arcade games at the moment. i used to buy quite a lot but i've stopped until the price becomes more reasonable

Avatar image for football_legend

Those were awesome months full of quality Live Arcade games.

Avatar image for darkride66

werc96 said "I have both a ps3 and an xbox 360. You cant compare." I most assuredly think you CAN compare, as both a PS3 and 360 owners myself. Just like with the total games libraries, the 360's year head start shows but it's not so much a factor anymore as the PS3's library and offering on PSN has been growing by leaps and bounds since it's launch. Being on my 4th 360 console I finally downgraded my XBL Gold in favor of the PSN and I haven't looked back. Nothing against XBL - I just don't see the point in paying $50 a year for something that I can get for free, and there are tonnes of games, demos, themes, etc on the PSN as well. I mean, come on! Burnout, Siren, Warhawk, Pixeljunk! Sony's not messing around with their online offering and it certainly shows. I've downloaded only one thing on XBL in the past year, and that's Psychonauts. I may get Braid. On the PSN I've downloaded, PixelJunk Monsters, Monsters/Encore, Pixeljunk Eden, Stardust HD, Warhawk, Joust, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, A couple of the Eye-Toy games, Calling all cars, 10-11 Themes(all free), Echochrome, Puzzle Fighter, Qore, Sudoku, Commando 3 and I'll probably grab Siren - Blood Curse as soon as I have some more time. And the best thing is Sony doesn't think multiplayer is something you should have to fork over extra dollars for. You paid $50-60 bucks for the game already, the least they could do is through up some servers without coming to you, hat in hand saying "Please. Our games division won't make a dime without XBL subscription revenues. Cough it up or no on-line play for you!"

Avatar image for Senor_Kami

@D-K-Brown A major plus is that it gives you standard global pricing. No matter where you are on planet earth, a 500 point game is 500 points. No matter how much any economy crumbles, that game will still cost citizens 500 points. Also, when you take away dollar signs from stuff, people are less hesitant about spending. Also, it makes sense that you can only add points in the amounts they are sold at. If it was just normal currency, I don't think people would accept having to add like $5 to their account to cover being like 50 points (way less than $5) short on buying some DLC.

Avatar image for Darth-Sifh

Hmm. . . Good Games equal higher sales. Interesting, very interesting. Further research must be done.

Avatar image for D-K-Brown

I've always wondered why MS uses the Microsoft Points scheme over a standard dollar. No real benefit to the user but it must be a ploy to ensure that the lowest percentage of users who can't understand the exchange rate for points and then over-spend. It's just like the Simpsons when they buy "Itchy & Scratchy" money. A middle-man of no real substance. Nintendo are the same with Wii Points and their Stars system, where the Stars ACTUALLY do something now (unless downloading Mario wallpapers is something you consider a 'sound' purchase) If I put £8.50 on my account, why translate it into 1000 points?? :)

Avatar image for werc96

I have both a ps3 and an xbox 360. You cant compare....Microsoft knows what its doing..I rarely go to the playstation store and find anything worth my time. However..XBLA always has me buying points. Good job and keep it up :)

Avatar image for drangel_jam


Avatar image for Timbydude

Braid was one of the most thought-provoking games I've ever played; definitely worth every penny.

Avatar image for nhlkiller

castle crashers = MUST DOwnload

Avatar image for sykalob

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

Avatar image for sykalob

Nishua...are you alive ?

Avatar image for xraystar

where the hell is my simpsons arcade game?!

Avatar image for guitardude1243

Braid and Castle Crashers were well worth the money.

Avatar image for torontomapleafs

It was a great month for XBLA. Braid was so awesome.

Avatar image for slakor

Wow Microsoft finally realized that if you sell games that don't suck people will buy them. Almost everything on XBLA is overpriced crap that I wouldn't pay 5 bucks for, however I did buy Geowars2, Galaga and bionic Commando. Lets hope this sets a precedent for them to start releasing more actual good games.

Avatar image for Nishua

XBL is a rip-off. I refused to spend 15 on game titles. So they're rev isn't spiking because of me, I'm not that stupid.

Avatar image for T070Y

I love braid!!

Avatar image for T070Y

Banjo Banjo!!

Avatar image for Un4givingAsault

They need an xbla game of a revamped new version of river raid, from atari, f*ck i loved that game.

Avatar image for ctg867

Well when it's the first month in a year you actually have some good XBLA games out no crap your gonna see a "spike in revenue". Congrats to Microsoft, but that's like putting money in a bank account and being surprised when you get more money off of interest.

Avatar image for spy_guy14

hopefully ms learns about quality not quantity... though i wouldn't mind both:)

Avatar image for radar2670

Well DUH! Games at $10, $15 & $20 dollars a pop are going to generate more money than the previously cheaper titles. /sarcasm on "Oh that particular piece of information was omitted for the news release. Not intentionally I am sure. /Sarcasm off

Avatar image for cooldude03

I love the Xbox Live Arcade but what happened to the $5 titles. I mean $10 and $15 titles obviously your going to show an increase in revenue. In order to show another big month they'll have to increase prices to $20 a game. I'm all for quality and don't mind paying for quality. Games like Domino Master and Samurai Showdown are not worth the $10 price tag. Both games I would like to purchase but at $5 not $10. Don't get me wrong I'm not cheap Bionic Commando, Geometry Wars 2, Braid, and other titles they released back during the Xbox Summer of Arcade promotion was worth the money, but not all games should cost that much. If they price some games for less they would sell more.

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