Microsoft: Xbox Live Arcade will end ... someday

When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 console in 2005, it also launched Xbox Live Arcade, a downloadable game service designed for smaller game titles that wouldn't be sold as stand alone retail games. Since then, however, a number of Xbox Live Arcade games have become more complex, with deep gameplay, impressive graphics and an overall design that rivals, and in some cases beats, a number of game sold in retail stores on disks.

So does that mean that Xbox Live Arcade could, as a service, go away with Microsoft simply selling and promoting downloadable games on the Xbox 360 as games, period? Vox Games posed that question to Michael Wolf, the global marketing manager for XBLA Microsoft Studios. His answer? Xbox Live Arcade will in fact go away ... someday. He states:

Personally, I'd say absolutely, yes. I think digital distribution has to be like that. I don't think XBLA will be leaving soon. It is an incredible platform. We have XBLA fans, I don't think it's going to be announced anytime soon. One thing Microsoft has proven is that we continue to try and adapt and innovate in experiences.

With Microsoft already selling downloadable versions of Xbox 360 retail boxed games (usually several months after they appear on store shelves), the idea of the Xbox Live Arcade service ending at some point is not far fetched anymore.

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4 Comments

The wording 'going away' is not what is happening. Since small developers and Apps are converging with Major titles by having the same access to the market and availability, there is no longer the need to have the 'arcade' distinction.

Nothing is 'going away', in fact what is available to Arcade developers is 'expanding considerably', with only the distinction/name 'Arcade' no longer being needed.

The question and the article surround the answer about this is completely conflating two things, and missing the point that things are getting better, not 'going away'.

PS John, you should know better, as I don't think you are this clueless. (But I've been surprised before.)

Actually the exact question in the Vox Games article to Mr. Wolf does in fact say, "Eventually the Xbox Live Arcade is going to go away, right?"
Their words...not mine.

What a stupid question. "Going to go away?" nothing can simply just go away. The service is probably going to be revamped and renamed.

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