When the Xbox 360 launched, it came bundled with an endless wellspring of digital joy in the form of the Xbox Live Arcade digital download service. Here, players could find cute, bite-sized adventures for a price much lower than that of a standard retail release. Since then, though, the service has come to take on such titles as the recently released Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, a budgeted product with the scope of a $60 blockbuster. Thus raises the question: is Xbox Live Arcade, as it was originally known, on the way out?
Global Marketing Manager of Xbox Live Arcade Steven Wolf would seem to think so. “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.”
Those statements didn’t ring true with higher-ups at Microsoft that saw to it to emphasize the company’s rigid stance on the future of Xbox Live Arcade. “Xbox Live Arcade is and will continue to be the premier destination for quality downloadable games at a great value, boasting an ever-growing, eclectic library of hundreds of games, spanning every genre. We are committed to providing new downloadable games for Xbox 360 and continuing our work with 1st and 3rd party developers on the platform. We have no plans to dissolve the service at this time.”
The statement out of Microsoft could very well be carefully implemented damage control, but we here at Got Game prefer the stance of endless optimism that radiates from this particular quote. Long live Xbox Live Arcade; may its flow of top-notch, small-scale games never cease.