While they’re not breaking the bank, it’s been noted that the average Xbox Live Arcade game prices have been going up—not down—as the platform ages.
In an article on GamesIndustry, Chris Charla, XBLA’s portfolio director, discussed the rising prices of the platform’s offerings, pointing to the fact that the increased prices have also correlated with better-reviewed games.
“If you look at Live Arcade, and do the math, and look at the publicly available sales numbers, you can see that average prices on XBLA have crept up over the last few years, which has been an interesting trend because on some app markets there’s been a race to zero as fast as possible,” Charla is quoted as saying.
According to the article, Charla points out that the average Metacritic score for XBLA games has seen a 12 percent increase since 2008.
“Sometimes, when [developers] talk about Live Arcade they’re like, ‘We want to do a boxed quality game on Live Arcade’, and I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’ I can point at a bunch of 38 and 42 and 56 Metacritic scoring boxed games, so it actually kind of pisses me off…[but] I think the games that we’re shipping—a Limbo or a Castle Crashers—are as good as anything on the market.”
While the rise of prices is never a fun story to report, the recent spate of excellent XBLA games (Bastion, Ms. ‘Splosion Man, to name but two of many) does put everything in perspective. Plus, as a bonus, no one’s hacked the XBL network yet—Microsoft must be doing SOMETHING right with that extra cash.