Analyst firm Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment, which specializes in the digital download market, has issued a financial report on Xbox Live Arcade, showing the Microsoft division earning $46M so far in 2010.
This leads FADE to suggest XBLA is on track for a record year, despite the slow start in January and February, when sales were down year-over-year for both months.
Spring was very good to Microsoft
Overall, XBLA grew 13 percent to $46.1 million by June 30, which saw the first half of the month gain 36 percent in sales compared to the same time-frame last year.
The report states MS's Block Party event in March contributed to the first-half surge, with Toy Soldiers and Perfect Dark both bringing in $2 million and placing each among the top five by revenue. The free-to-play Game Room also netted a million downloads shortly after release.
All in all, March provided the service with a 41 percent year-over-year increase in revenues, which began a consecutive 4-month run of double digit gains in revenue when compared to 2009.
Come April, the report states Microsoft began to "aggressively promote price drops on dozens of titles", with its Inventory Blowout sale in April, with many titles gaining revenue increases of between 50-200 percent.
"We saw Microsoft take a very different approach to product deployment strategies this year," said Benjamin Schlichter, director of research and analysis for FADE. "The second quarter of the year has traditionally been their weakest, and they made great strides to improve the performance during the period, as revenue increased 24% compared to the year prior during a period when much of the rest of the industry is down."
Sales expected to hit $130-$140 million by the end of 2010
FADE predicts Xbox Live Arcade will realize an estimated $130 million to $140 million by the end of the year, following strong hardware sales due to the upcoming holiday lineup, the slimmer 360 console, and the marketing blowout coming for Kinect.
The Summer of Arcade is expecting "impressive sales, following the implementation of their new Destination Arcade UI", which will, of course, no longer be around after the summer promotion ends.
Summer of Arcade titles scheduled through August are: Hydro Thunder Hurricane – yesterday; Castlevania: Harmony of Despair – August 4; Monday Night Combat – August 11; Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – August 18, with Limbo releasing last week.
With Kinect, FADE expects the hardware's pricing may dampen sales slightly, but the "possibilities of the platform may yield impressive revenues for Arcade developers looking to leverage the new platform for mini-games and unique, affordable experiences".
FADE Top 10 estimates for first-half of 2010, by revenue
- Toy Soldiers (Signal Studios) - $4.6 million (1200 MSP)
- Trials HD (RedLynx) - $4.4 million (800 - 1200 MSP)
- Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) - $2.9 million (800 - 1200 MSP)
- Battlefield 1943 (EA DICE) - $2.5 million (800 - 1200 MSP)
- Perfect Dark (4J Studios) - $2.4 million (800 MSP)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Capcom) - $1.8 million (800 - 1200 MSP)
- Family Game Night (EA Bright Light) - $1.7 million (400 - 800 MSP)
- Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment) - $1.2 million (800 - 1200 MSP)
- Magic: The Gathering (Stainless Games) - $900,000 (800 MSP)
- Call of Duty Classic (Infinity Ward) - $800,000 (1200 MSP)