And they are right. Very very right, in fact. Lets go through the stats posted at the Gamerscore Blog: 1.25 BILLION Gamerscore points, and almost 100 Million achievements unlocked. Those figures are insane, but rightly so. This year has been amazing for XBLA with massive releases like Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Braid and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.
According to Microsoft, most of the success can be attributed to the glut of quality gaming releases (as mentioned above) and their high metacritic scores. Now, this is a trend that I have noticed growing lately within the gaming industry where success is attributed to high overall review scores. This theory does fall apart when one brings up Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, or Beyond Good and Evil. However, in this case, it does seem to have some merit as many of the high profile releases on XBLA were both a commercial and critical success. Braid scored high nineties everywhere, as did (to a lesser degree) Geometry Wars 2. Other successes like Castle Crashers being listed in GotY lists also contributed.
Other notable successes in the past year include things like in the Summer (Northern Hemisphere) all the high profile titles were released over a 5 week period. This 5 week period saw a 58% increase in purchases by unique members. August broke the then monthly revenue high by 67%.
While Microsoft are right to boast about there achievement this year, 2009 will be the test of whether they can keep this level of momentum going. NXE was a very big deal this year and I doubt there will be anything similar next year, so Microsoft will need to find an alternate ways to impress and dazzle the gaming community.
Last Updated: December 23, 2008