Spencer: Limbo is the number one selling Summer of Arcade title

Saturday, 18th September 2010 18:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has said the best-selling title during Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade was Limbo.

At TGS, Spencer mentioned during his keynote the six top spots on Xbox Live Arcade were from Japanese companies, but Limbo topped Summer of Arcade.

“Our number one Summer of Arcade game is Limbo,” said Spencer, “by a long stretch. I think there was a time when Live Arcade was about IP that people knew. It’s changing though.

“I really think coming out of Braid, Shadow Complex, Limbo… that it’s changing a little bit. We see that in the market, that it’s becoming less about iconic IP that people know and it’s becoming more diverse.

“I love Limbo. I think Limbo’s probably my game of the year right now.”

Other offerings during the Summer of Arcade promotion included Hydro Thunder, Monday Night Combat, Castlevania, and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

Spencer didn’t provide any figures on Limbo, but we’ll send a mail and see if we can find out more.

Thanks, Joystiq.



  1. Michael O’Connor

    Limbo’s a great little game, but it’s intellectual depth was hyped way out of proportion.

    Nice little essay on the subject here, for anyone interested in the whole “video games as art” topic.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    A lot of games’ “intellectual depth” get blown out of proportion. IMO at least. Which doesn’t account for much :D

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Michael O’Connor

    @2 It’s because there’s so few games with any real intellectual merit, that have worth saying.

    As fans, we *want* our hobby to be meaningful in some way, and because of this every time a game comes out that hints at possessing even a pinch of maturity (actual maturity, not blood’n'guts maturity), gamers latch onto it like its the next great work of art, despite how ultimately simple it’s artistic depth is under the surface.

    Don’t get me wrong though, Limbo is a great game.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Suikoden Fan

    being honest i found the last 2 summer of arcades better

    #4 4 years ago
  5. cookiejar

    @4 Snap.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Superfrog

    Limbo sales should be over 400,000 by now. That’s already more than Braid sold in total.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. naffgeek

    I think this is great news for future Xbla games, if it becomes a breeding ground for developers to take a chance on new ip I for one am all for it.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. hitnrun

    Gamers get confused between intellectual and intellect-utilizing. These games sure as hell tax and bend your intellect. The air of artistry and contemplation is usually just window dressing, however.

    Incidentally, purposely evoking the highbrow connotation in your puzzle game is a pretty good idea to get word-of-mouth buzz. My concern is that every puzzle platformer now is going to get a coat of airy-fairy paint.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. manamana

    Apart from the gameplay, the art design and atmosphere is brilliant for an XArcade title. Its not “airy-fairy” – its unseen and innovative.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. hitnrun

    @9 I didn’t say it was. But the themes sure to be tacked onto future puzzle platformers will be :)

    You can hear the phone call from Mr. Kotick’s office now: “Yeah, use that Braid stuff, or Lucidity or “Limbo” or “Twister” or whatever that one was called. Make it soft focus and throw some 80s game references in there. Class that shit up and call it philosophical.”

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DSB

    It says a lot about Denmark that the press starts jabbering about an amazing new Danish games industry based on one, rather small game, which happens to do really well.

    @2 Amen to that. I want to whack those people over the head with a phenomenal vintage of pinot noir and drown them in grand vats of grey poupon, while discussing how their blood makes an amazingly poignant commentary on Göthes Theory of Colours. Ep ep ep.

    That goes for anyone who applies idiotic academia where it doesn’t belong, ie things that are supposed to be experienced, rather than thought to death :P

    Some people actually do that to heavy metal too. It makes me want to puke.

    At least most metal musicians know how to fight back.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Ge0force

    Limbo is a great game, but 1200 points is too much for what it is!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Gadzooks!

    It really has been a phenominal summer of arcade. I’ve spent more on downloadable games this year than ever before.

    Hydro Thunder, Lara and Limbo are utterly brilliant games, and PQ2, PvZ and Dead Rising have been superb too. The quality of XBLA games has been rediculously high of late.

    But then KOF:Sky Stage and Sonic Adventure kinda ended the killstreak.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. dirigiblebill

    @ 1

    “It strikes me as a sort of vapid, pseudo-intellectual comment that is the result of a search for meaning where, in reality, ambiguity reigns.”

    Ironoman is at large in that article, Michael :)

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Michael O’Connor

    @14 There’s a very big difference between genuine ambiguity and a real lack of intellectual depth. Limbo veers far closer to the latter in my opinion, unlike its closest relative, Braid, which had numerous layers to it’s narrative that could be peeled away and analysed.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. dirigiblebill

    Not wishing to be confrontational, but ‘ambiguity’, ‘depth’, layers’ and ‘peeling away’ are cut and dried examples of ‘pseudo-intellectual commentary’… ;)

    That critical response to Limbo has been a little on the flowery side doesn’t mean there’s nothing to read into (incidentally, I get the sense in your comment above and the linked piece that narrative/character are being treated as interchangeable with sophistication – dangerous ground!) – and every critic might be styled presumptuous inasmuch as one of a critic’s roles is to take elements of the work out of their original context and apply an argument to them. It’s a given that the writer isn’t in the business of ‘replacing’ what’s at hand, only offering an elucidation that is always, I would argue, destined to be folded back into the source material by the player.

    I do agree with the point about Limbo being ‘self-consciously arty’, though – it sort of reminds me of A Beautiful Mind in that regard.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Psychotext

    I buy game.
    I like game.

    Game pretty. Game fun.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. AHA-Lambda

    good but overrated game (and just like braid i thought it was very pretentious and overblown in terms of its “intellectual value”)

    Lara Croft is a better game

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DSB

    @18 Totally agree. Great platformer, and certainly one of the best illustrators on the web doing the artwork, but in terms of depth, games generally don’t offer much.

    @17 Word.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Michael O’Connor

    “Not wishing to be confrontational, but ‘ambiguity’, ‘depth’, layers’ and ‘peeling away’ are cut and dried examples of ‘pseudo-intellectual commentary’…”

    Using the right words in their proper context is being pseudo-intellectual? Okay then.

    Pseudo-intellectualism is putting intellectual context where there is none. So no, its not pseudo-intellectual commentary.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. dirigiblebill

    Well, there’s more than one way to be pseudo-intellectual… :)

    What strikes me as lacking in the piece you linked is that critical terms are being deployed without a proper acknowledgement of their histories and nuances in order to create precisely those loose, self-indulgent characterisations of a topic that the author claims to oppose.

    His point about resisting the temptation to weave an explicit narrative out of Limbo’s audio-visual hints is a credible one, though I’d question how fair it is to censure John Teti on this count, but he surrounds it with ‘self-consciously arty’ references to avant garde, ‘the abstract’, ‘poetic’, ‘emotion’, etc that, in the end, place the essay on exactly that spectrum of nebulous, aspirational, unself-reflective writing. I’m not saying he’s stupid, not in the slightest (perhaps ‘pseudo-intellectual’ is going a little too far) – I’m saying that he’s not paying enough attention to his own vocabulary.

    He wants to argue that Limbo is all ‘mood’ rather than ‘profundity’, for instance, that it is ‘skin-deep’, but what concept is ‘deeper’ than the ‘ambiguity’ he ascribes to it? As in the deliberate positing or evocation of two or more meanings in a single word, statement or image, some considered ‘higher’ or ‘less true’ than the others? And this is to say nothing of the fact that ‘shallow/deep’ is a pairing one associates with high school rom-coms and Disney flicks.

    It’s still a solid piece of work, and God knows I can be wishy-washy when I want to, but I think it’s a bit rich to accuse other writers of imprecision and ‘romanticism’ (another category badly in need of investigation) while taking the opportunity to flex one’s thesaurus. That kind of thing might do in a review, where the idea is to say as much as possible against the clock/wordcount, but in an essay on criticism, from a site that purports to be “a cliché and hype-free zone”… :s

    Thanks for the link, btw. I’m going to check out some of their other articles.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Tomo

    This is great news! Fucking brilliant game and well worth the 1200 points.

    #22 4 years ago
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