Microsoft has released what amounts to their “year in review” for Xbox Live Arcade, citing record numbers and their most impressive line-up of titles yet.
Going by the provided numbers, it was indeed a damn fine year for XBLA, with more than 60 titles receiving a Metacritic score over 75. Jonathan Blow's Braid brought home the highest score with an average of 93, making it the highest-rated downloadable game of the year. Geometry Wars; Retro Evolved 2 averaged 90; Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and Portal: Still Alive both scored an 89. The release also lists Castle Crashers as a fan-favorite, but doesn't list its Metacritic average of 82 for some reason.
Braid, Geometry Wars 2, and Castle Crashers were of course part of the Summer of Arcade along with Galaga Legions and Bionic Commando: Rearmed, a promotion that saw a 58% increase in unique members purchasing XBLA titles and August topping the previous revenue high for the service by 67%.
For even more impressive numbers we look to the to-date list, which shows Xbox Live Arcade game players earning more than 1.25 billion gamerscore points, unlocking nearly 100 million achievements in the process. While they don't give the exact number of actual Arcade titles purchased, they do count 100 million trial games having been downloaded since the service launched. “Momentum for Xbox LIVE Arcade has been incredible this year,” director of digitally distributed games for Microsoft Scott Austin, said. “Xbox LIVE Arcade has really become the top destination for premium downloadable games. And we’ve got a long list of games coming out in 2009 that we think will be just as incredible as what we already have on the service.” Me? I was a little disappointed this year, mainly because Talisman never happened, but there's more Puzzle Quest on the horizon, so I may yet be appeased. What are you guys looking forward to from Xbox Live Arcade in 2009?