Report: Minecraft was 2012's most popular XBLA game

Microsoft does not offer up official revenue numbers for sales of the downloadable games made for the Xbox 360 and its Xbox Live Arcade service. However, a third party company, Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE) has come up with some numbers of its own that it claims show a huge boost in revenues for XBLA game titles.

FADE's report claims that total sales of those games reached $290 million in 2012, which is double the number in 2011. This shows that downloadable console game sales are on the rise, even as sales of retail disc-based games declined in 2012.

By far, the XBLA game with the most downloads and revenues was the Xbox 360 port of Mojang's sandbox game Minecraft. FADE said the game, which was ported by 4J Studios, had 4,997,000 downloads with revenues of $97.388 million. A distant second in terms of revenue was Trials Evolution from developer RedLynx and publisher Ubisoft, which made $14.298 million in revenue with 1,002,000 game downloads.

The Walking Dead, from developer Telltale Games, was in third on the list with $10.277 million in revenues and 2,615,000 in total downloads. FADE's numbers for this game are combined for all five episodes of the episodic series, including free episode downloads.

Source: FADE | Image via Mojang

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I don't understand why some people hate on the XBLA version of Minecraft so much - it's a brilliant game. OK, so the worlds aren't as immensely huge as in the PC version, and it's simplified somewhat, but it's still amazing. I own both versions, but I play the Xbox Edition much more than on PC as I can play it on the 40" TV in my living room, with 5.1 surround sound and using the Xbox controller.

Terrible vs the PC version. I was fortunate enough to get it for free and only played it once or twice on the Xbox. Not to mention Microsoft wanted to milk more money out of it by charging to change your skin.

I still haven't figured out what's so "fun" about this game that everyone wants to play it. I know people have different taste in things and all but for me this game is a huge meh.

Minecraft is a game of imagination. It revolves around finding your own ways to have fun with the world and mechanics provided and setting your own goals, most of which have no pre-programmed rewards; the game doesn't care whether you live in a wooden shack or a massive castle, but this is the sort of goal players will set for themselves, with the finished castle being its own reward.

If you found LEGO boring then you'll find Minecraft boring for the same reasons.