A new report from Forecasting & Analyzing Digital Entertainment has estimated that Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade service has to date in 2010 made something in the region of $46.1m, a number that if true represents a 13 per cent year-on-year increase.
The study also estimates that the digital portal will make $140m by the end of the year, $10m more than in 2009.
It also claims that after a slow start to 2010 that saw revenues down year-on-year, the last few months and the arrival of marketing initiatives such as the Block Party program and a range of discount deals has seen growth significantly improve.
We saw Microsoft take a very different approach to product deployment strategies this year,” FADE's director of research and analysis Benjamin Schlichter stated.
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 per cent compared to the year prior during a period when much of the rest of the industry is down.”
Note, though, that FADE's numbers are based on nothing more than speculation and should be taken with a large pinch of salt.
It's also worth asking just how impressive the $140m figure really is. The most recent Microsoft estimates say that Xbox Live currently has 25m members.
If you presume that every one spends on the service then that works out as a 3.60 spend per member. That's enough for 420 Microsoft Points which is just enough to buy one of the very cheapest titles on the service. If you guess that only half every spend in Xbox Live Arcade that only brings the total to 840 MSP – that's not even enough to buy recent release Limbo or retro remake Call of Duty Classic.
Here is FADE's estimated XBLA chart for the first six months of 2010 along with approximate revenues per title:
1. Toy Soldiers – $4.6m (1200 Microsoft Points)
2. Trials HD – $4.4m (800 - 1200 MSP)
3. Castle Crashers – $2.9m (800 - 1200 MSP)
4. Battlefield 1943 – $2.5m (800 - 1200 MSP)
5. Perfect – $2.4m (800 MSP)
6. Marvel vs. Capcom – $1.8m (800/1200 MSP)
7. Family Game Night – $1.7m (400/ 800 MSP)
8. Shadow Complex – $1.2m (800/1200 MSP)
9. Magic: The Gathering – $900k (800 MSP)
10. Call of Duty Classic – $800k (1200 MSP)